Digital labor is rapidly becoming one of our clients’ hottest issues. In response, PwC is preparing an ongoing series of papers over several months to help our clients understand how to benefit from digital labor—and avoid some common pitfalls. This paper addresses why digital labor hasn't seen more traction despite its obvious benefits.
For financial institutions in a challenging market, using automation in repetitive, business rule-driven work to rapidly cut costs, improve quality and scalability, and operate 24/7 is obviously appealing. And there are success stories, for both administrative and technical applications.
But there are many more firms stuck in a proverbial “analysis paralysis,” perhaps even with multiple successful pilots but little movement toward broader adoption.
There are three big issues that firms tend to struggle with when implementing this technology:
If everyone understands the value of digital labor, why are so many firms stuck at proving the concept? There are many reasons, and they vary by firm, but several themes have emerged. In some organizations, champions haven’t mobilized the right people for approval. Sometimes, firms charge ahead to solve a transactional issue without really understanding the business case involved. Still others are concerned that digital labor could run afoul of a compliance process based on human activity. Ultimately, these are all change management issues.
We view the adoption of digital labor in financial services as a step in a larger transition: helping find those capabilities that truly add value, and spending less effort on those that don’t. In this way, we’re describing a change to a financial institution’s operating model. Though this involves software, thinking in terms of technology is short-sighted; understanding its effect on process and on people will be at least as important to the program’s success or failure.
Are you prepared for the workforce of the future? PwC's Kevin Kroen shares insight into the effects digital labor and RPA may have on the labor force.
PwC's Kevin Kroen discusses the benefits RPA can have on a control environment. He also shares some issues we've seen, and some ways to avoid them as you implement the technology.
Partner, FS Advisory, Digital Labor/RPA Leader
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U.S. Leader of Enterprise Business Services, PwC
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Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) Leader
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Director, Financial Services
Tel: +1 (646) 471 4584