Banks and other financial services firms in North America can unlock up to US$140 billion in productivity gains and savings if they employ new technologies that help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their workforces.
Automation alone can contribute US$23 billion to their savings, says the latest study by IT consulting firm Accenture.
New technologies stoke human creativity and skill by arming them with new capabilities, while automation frees them from routine tasks and processes.
Up to 48% of tasks in the financial services workforce could be augmented with technology, according to the study. Thanks to AI (artificial intelligence), financial advisors can now make personalized real-time recommendations and help loan officers determine default risks more accurately.
“This isn’t about cutting costs to improve the bottom line. It’s about embracing technology to transform the workforce,” Cathinka Wahlstrom, chief of Accenture’s financial services practice in North America.
“There’s a new era ahead for financial firms that see the value of combining human ingenuity and personal touch with technology efficiency and precision to create new sources of growth…”
Accenture has urged businesses to re-skill their staff, saying there is a scarcity of digital, data, and cyber skills.
“Re-skilling employees — instead of simply recruiting — can deliver immediate value,” the report noted.
In addition to reducing costs and capturing efficiencies, augmentation and automation can free up time for companies to focus on innovation.
“Going forward, 7%-10% of tasks could be automated, generating additional cost savings of US$12 billion for banks, US$7 billion for insurers and US$4 billion for capital markets firms,” the report added.