We, robot: Solving the RPA/human capital puzzle in financial services

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Many financial institutions are investing to deploy robotic and intelligent process automation (RPA/IPA), and we think they’re right to do so. But few are devoting the same kind of energy to address the people issues that arise when bringing this new technology on board. Getting this wrong can add risk, increase costs, and hurt your firm's reputation. We’ve identified six steps that firms can take to manage the change and reap the full benefits of RPA.

Have you considered the people challenges that come with implementing digital labor?

Many organizations are investing a lot of time and effort to deploy Robotic and Intelligent Process Automation (RPA/IPA), and we think they’re right to do so. Investing in RPA is the smart business decision, but firms should think about their people as they do so. They know the issues are coming. They know their employees will be affected in fundamental ways. They just think that these issues can be dealt with “later.” This could be a costly gamble.

Some considerations that often get lost when firms start to deploy RPA:

  • Firms will probably face new people risks.
  • This could threaten the brand.
  • Employee attitudes can shift quickly. The old rulebook no longer applies.
  • Roles and career paths will change, even if job planning doesn’t.
  • Training plans will appear outdated.

So, how do you deploy RPA without damaging your human capital?

While digital labor is still in its infancy, we encourage financial institutions to treat human capital as an essential part of the planning process. Regardless of how rapidly RPA advances, you can still create a structure that supports and encourages an adaptive workforce.

Here are some of the steps we recommend:

  • Prepare for human capital risks like you’d prepare for any other risks.
  • Remember what you stand for.
  • Help people find their way.
  • Create organization support for success.
  • Expect changes to jobs, compensations, and structure.
  • Learn new ways to develop your team.

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PwC on how digital labor and RPA can shape the workforce of the future

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.


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PwC looks at projects where RPA can help financial firms the most

PwC's Kevin Kroen talks about the dimensions of an ideal RPA project, which include overall strategy, governance, execution, and personnel.

How PwC can help

Our teams in asset and wealth management, banking and capital markets, and insurance are helping our clients tackle the biggest issues facing the financial services industry. With professionals across tax, assurance, and advisory practices, we can help you find ways to thrive even in a period of uncertainty. Whether you're preparing for regulatory changes, putting FinTech/InsurTech to work, or rethinking your human capital strategy, we work together with you to deliver value to your business.

For more information on how PwC can help with RPA, reach out to one of our leaders below or explore our RPA services.

Contact us

Kevin Kroen

Partner, Intelligent Automation Leader, PwC US

Bhushan Sethi

People & Organization Joint Global Leader, PwC US

Julia Lamm

Principal, Global Workforce Strategy Leader, PwC US

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