This article was originally printed on the FortressIQ website and includes updates to reflect the company’s change in status. FortressIQ is now part of Automation Anywhere, and its offering is now our process intelligence product FortressIQ.
The lines between banks and banking are blurring more and more. From credit cards to lending, trading products to cryptocurrency, fintechs are now providing sophisticated apps and tools to consumers who are demanding omnichannel services, low to no fees, and 24x7 on-demand customer service. Traditional banking and financial services firms have been slow to react. However, to remain relevant (or merely survive), you must adapt your bank to the technological and social changes that have created our new normal.
Transforming from the outside in and the inside out
An effective enterprise banking transformation must be informed by the external forces causing change while considering the deeply entrenched internal forces standing in the way. Your external customers, regulators, consultants, and experts are the ones who understand the direction of the market. But to implement changes and be a leader in your industry is akin to steering a mighty ship in a new and unfamiliar direction. Moving that mass and overcoming institutional inertia requires an in-depth knowledge of internal systems, people, processes, data, and their collective interconnectedness.
Successful banking process improvement requires placing equal importance on internal and external forces. Transformation is also not a one-time exercise. Instead, think of it as a constant and consistent effort to improve the functions that are critical to running your organization. You need to be effective and efficient in the transformation effort requires comprehensive data and insights into how your bank operates.
The challenge for banks is to be effective and efficient in finding, implementing, and sustaining organizational improvements in effectiveness and efficiency. Yes, it is a circular reference, but one that can be overcome.
Initiating your banking transformation
Almost every financial institution has a transformation already underway. A recent study found that 8 in 10 banks are currently in the midst of transformation, yet only one-third say their efforts are more than halfway complete. Regardless of the slow pace, those efforts include:
- Expanding cloud usage to minimize infrastructure and increase scalability,
- Deploying robotic process automation (RPA) to automate processes (with apps called “bots”),
- Building connectors and APIs to integrate data and processes, and
- Leveraging processing mining software to discover processes using system and event logs and then to reconstruct those processes and find efficiencies.
All these initiatives start with great enthusiasm and promise, but it takes significant time and effort to implement banking process improvement at scale. That’s especially true in larger FSIs as the scope keeps changing and deadlines pass by.
Answer these critical transformation questions
Consider the following questions whether you are on a transformation journey or planning to embark on one. These topics apply to many areas within the organization, from the front office and global business services (GBS) to compliance and risk management. The intent is to evaluate the breadth of your processes, people, systems, and data involved in every action your firm takes. Only then can you grasp the scale—and potential—of any transformation effort.
- How many systems and applications (whether legacy, web-based, mainframe or productivity apps) are used to initiate and complete a specific process?
- How much effort do workers put into each system and application during each process, and where are the bottlenecks? Is the organization adequately training and upskilling employees?
- How much time do workers spend toggling between different applications to complete their day-to-day tasks?
- What and where are the operational risks lurking in the background, whether it be making costly calculation mistakes in liquidity and cash management or reporting incorrect regulatory information that can attract high fines and penalties?
- How well do your enterprise resourcing planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems support the products and services you provide to customers today and intend to provide tomorrow?
- How much time, effort, and resources are required to map business processes and update process documentation when processes change?
- What are your golden sources of data, and is the data being used efficiently by your artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems to give you the insights you need to manage your business?
These questions cannot be answered with manual exercises or by bringing in an army of consultants or using traditional BPMN processing mining software. Understanding your complex and overlapping universe of enterprise systems and processes requires more intelligence, computing power, and speed than any of these traditional solutions can possibly offer. Unless, of course, you have years to wait for your transformation to take hold.
Why process intelligence plays a key role in banking transformation
Traditional methods of understanding processes are process mapping, process mining, and process discovery. However, each of these methods returns an incomplete view of processes based on a snapshot of how the process was executed at a single point in time. Additional uncertainty comes from manually monitoring processes, which will undoubtedly disrupt workers and provide inaccurate results.
More technical approaches avoid this disruption by analyzing application log files, but they miss steps performed manually or outside of a limited set of applications. Finally, these methods only show what happened today, but that data is then stale tomorrow. Not a good foundation for an enterprise-scale transformation.
Process intelligence overcomes all of these shortcomings by automatically and continually acquiring process data at scale across any system in your firm. It uses AI and computer vision to provide clear and accurate visibility into the current state of your processes and captures data from across regions, shifts, departments, and more—all without disrupting workers. This provides an accurate and comprehensive foundation from which to automate processes, drive digital transformation, and optimize workflows.
How FortressIQ transforms banking operations
The Automation Anywhere FortressIQ Process Intelligence solution uses computer vision, machine learning, and AI to effectively capture and discover the details of every process, who performs it, using which applications, and the output generated from it. Our solution maps and documents the people, processes, technologies, and information behind every activity, even those using end-user computing tools (EUC) run outside of core systems. Best of all, it captures this detailed, accurate, and unobtrusive process intelligence in just weeks, without expensive and long engagements. And it highlights the process variances across workers caused by differences in experience, training, and other factors.
Process intelligence is a valuable tool for the financial, fintech, and banking industries, which require transparency above all. FortressIQ delivers real-time, data-driven insights to create a detailed map of your business. Whether for governance, risk, compliance, or new products, customer service, and internal efficiencies, FortressIQ analyzes activities across all applications, through each department, and for every single process. It requires zero integration, works without disrupting employees, and captures granular process details.