In industry, robotic process automation (RPA) and AI are accepted as surefire strategies to unlock business value. In banking, the road ahead is less clear, with many financial institutions struggling to take the big step from concept to practice. Recent research by Cognizant in the areas of robotic automation and AI in North America shows that RPA initiatives are not moving as quickly as organizations would like – even though nearly all of the 302 industry leaders who participated in the study were emphatic in their view that process automation is important, even critical to their business.

Although conducted for North America, the study is also relevant and presents a useful roadmap for financial institutions in Switzerland, where the take-up for RPA is accelerating. Major players such as UBS and Credit Suisse are forging ahead with robo-advisors and robo-agents, and Switzerland is also home to a thriving ecosystem of startups in RPA and AI.

What do we learn from the study – and what conclusions can be drawn for financial institutions in Switzerland?

  • RPA is not a technology overhaul, but many organizations are treating it this way. According to Cognizant’s research, 55% of enterprises view RPA as a matter for IT – rather than as a strategic driver that can transform the entire enterprise.
  • Organizations lack post-deployment roadmaps: 42% state they have no plan of action if a bot fails or a security issue arises. With security and compliance viewed as a major roadblock anyway, this is preventing initiatives from getting off the ground. 65% report that projects are still at the preliminary stage.
  • Not enough expertise: around half of organizations state they do not have the expertise in automation and advanced cognitive technologies to embark with confidence on their RPA journey.

Banks can resolve all of these challenges. The Cognizant study lays out three steps they can take to jump-start RPA initiatives and keep them moving:

  • Create winning partnerships: make process automation an enterprise-wide issue, and secure support from both executive and operational leadership.
  • Think big, scale fast: identify specific opportunities – the “quick wins” – in line with larger business goals.
  • Chart the path forward: be clear what day-to-day operations will look like and how any issues will be resolved.

Installing and benefiting from RPA is a major change for any organization. Cognizant can help you figure out where – and how – to start, and how to keep your initiative on track. To learn more, download the complete Cognizant white paper Financial Services Automation: Taking off the Training Wheels.