By Tyler Suss, Product Marketing Director at Kofax


The value intelligent automation brings to financial services is well-publicised. Fast, convenient account openings for customers on-the-go. Smoother loan origination, closing and servicing processes. Paperless audit trails to reduce the risk of non-compliance. The list goes on.

Many have experienced some of these benefits first-hand. But frequently, the value is limited to pockets of success that are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate and extend throughout all business processes and operations enterprise-wide. What’s missing is often a strategy for how to automate beyond a single process or department and integrate existing pockets of automation that are delivering value.

The good news is that a carefully reasoned approach can help ensure they’re on the right path toward a fully integrated, optimised intelligent automation workflow—and avoid coming up against roadblocks or dead-ends.


The value intelligent automation brings to financial services is well-publicised. Fast, convenient account openings for customers on-the-go
Tyler Suss

What to Consider—and Who

When it comes to integrating intelligent automation end-to-end, forcing it all at once can be a recipe for delays—or even disaster. Before taking any concrete action, it’s wise to think through a few key considerations to pave the way for a smooth intelligent automation integration.

First, must clearly define the strategy. Why is intelligent automation important across the business? Which processes are the priority? A recent Forbes Insight survey found that 90 percent of senior executives believe their leadership understands that process automation is critical to future success. It’s helpful to identify executives who can speak about the benefits for different departments individually, as well as once the strategy is executed across the organisation.

Second, the siloes are frequently the elephant in the room. True, individual departments or processes may be seeing benefit now, but what about when the business grows?  An end-to-end view of the business, from the front office to the back office, is essential so that it can accurately pinpoint best practices and drive better cross-departmental integration and benefit.

A final consideration is acknowledging that while technology is essential, employees should always be part of the equation. With the right mix of human talent and a digital workforce, productivity increases, as does job satisfaction, since employees can re-focus on more fulfilling, strategic work.

So how can financial services feel confident they’re touching all the bases for a winning intelligent automation integration?


Here’s a useful 4-point checklist:

  1. Ask for feedback.

Cross-functional participation is essential. That means looping in executives, business and process leaders from areas such as human resources, finance, sales, operations management, etc. These are the people who face the challenges of manual processes in their roles every day. Outside stakeholders should be included where practical—the decisions made for process transformation will have a very real impact on their business as well.

  1. Present the case.

There’s often only one chance to make a convincing argument. Therefore, consider the pitch wisely. Describe what a positive outcome looks like: More satisfied and engaged customers? Reduced processing times and costs and an improved bottom line? Less risk because more accurate data and audit trails translate to better compliance?

It’s important to show the quantitative benefits that could be achieved—whether that’s a 20 percent expected reduction in costs or a 30 percent improvement in productivity. But perhaps just as important are the less tangible benefits that integrated intelligent automation brings—such as better experiences throughout the customer journey, improved relationships with vendors and partners, and more engaged employees with better morale and work/life balance.

  1. Research vendors.

Next, it’s time to do the homework. Make a list of potential vendors and sort by their strengths (legacy of proven success providing solutions for financial services, demonstrated commitment to an integrated automation portfolio, etc.) and weaknesses (Are they a start-up? Do they primarily provide point solutions that aren’t pre-integrated?).

  1. Start small.

Once the vendor is chosen, it’s best to begin with a basic, proof-of-concept use case. Chances are that a smaller focus will bring swifter results. Then, once positive results are clear, expand and scale the solution. For example, let’s say mobile account opening is the chosen test run for automation. Be thinking about what a successful pilot looks like so once the milestone is reached, the team is poised to optimise and roll out the solution end-to-end across other processes.

Intelligent automation at scale enables bringing together people, processes and technology without the friction and cost of juggling a collection of disconnected point solutions. The result is lower total cost of ownership and reduced manual work and errors. The workforce is more productive, and customers are more engaged. Also, it can customise digital transformation, adopting capabilities and scaling at their own pace to work like tomorrow.



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