Financials need a firm grip on digital strategies to ensure their department – and organisation – can capture opportunities quickly and at scale in the years ahead. Here, we look at four core technologies that should feature in your organisation’s growth plans and assist you with scaling.
1. Use RPA to boost workforce productivity
Most finance teams today use robotic process automation (RPA) in some form to drive efficiencies and manage greater volume without the increased headcount.
RPA is best suited to replacing humans in repetitive, rule-based tasks. The main difference between traditional automation and RPA is its ability to identify different conditions based on a given set of rules and to adjust for a shift in those circumstances by following the defined rules. RPA software can interact with multiple existing applications, such as your ERP, just as an employee would but in a fraction of the time. These technologies can analyse and manipulate data, trigger responses and flag risks or duplications that require human intervention, helping you in scaling up.
2. Combine with other technologies including AI
While traditional risk management software functions under set parameters, AI and machine learning enable support beyond rule-based tasks to entire judgement-based processes. Allowing RPAs to interact with AI and machine learning-powered software takes automation to the next level – or ‘hyper automation’ as Gartner calls it – meaning multiple complex processes and workflows can be (continuously) improved on an end-to-end basis.
While many focus on the cost-saving potential of these combined technologies, there are much broader benefits. They play a critical role in improving data quality and procedures, areas in which the European Central Bank’s Target Review of Internal Models (TRIM) found that 71% of institutions fell short. Compliance, auditing and reporting are also more straightforward.
3. Connect via the cloud
Cloud-based technology is another essential enabler of smarter working. The cloud provides access to data and software anytime, anywhere, from any device. It allows your internal API-based, legacy or file-based systems to talk to each other (via RPA), as well as to external data sources such as government lists.
4. Use blockchain wisely
Blockchain technology is the last step in transforming human-based models into algorithm-based processes. It offers a peer-to-peer network, removing the need for central authorities and creating an immutable audit trail of transactions. This provides the opportunity to decrease administration costs and settlement times while improving efficiency and transparency for all parties.