Harnessing Hyperautomation to Accelerate Customer Experience and Resilience

  • Jean Van Vuuren, Associate Vice President at Hyland

  • 11.06.2022 09:33 am

As legacy banks continue to grapple with low customer satisfaction ratings, has the time come to take a leaf out of the challenger banks’ playbooks and embrace a greater degree of automation?
Automation has been a feature of banking since the days of punched cards, but there’s significant scope to drive further cross-functional connectivity across most institutions. And the issues go beyond purely customer satisfaction. Productivity, organisational resilience, the rising cost and complexity of hiring qualified staff, and the inherent legacy system challenges all contribute to the customer satisfaction disparity.
Enter hyperautomation. Defined by Gartner as, “a business-driven, disciplined approach to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many businesses and IT processes as possible, [involving] the orchestrated use of multiple technologies, tools or platforms”, hyperautomation may provide an answer to some of the issues facing banks.
The strategy enables organisations to automate the entire end-to-end workflow of a process, which could be a force multiplier for organisations. However, a recurring question is whether automation will give people the satisfaction of deriving more value from the work they do since the very idea of value-based work is fundamentally shifting?
One unexpected consequence of the pandemic is that it has become a catalyst for digital transformation. Businesses, including financial institutions, have seized the opportunity to automate a wide range of time-consuming, repetitive tasks, giving people more time to focus on higher priority initiatives.

Reimagining automation
Banks looking to increase customer satisfaction and staff retention could do well by analysing internal processes. Employers not offering the conditions, tools, support or job satisfaction that employees now expect, are finding it increasingly challenging to recruit or retain the quality workers they need.  Here again, hyperautomation has a role to play, enabling employers to create more attractive workplaces by removing the dull, unfulfilling activities that blight many people's working days.
In human resources (HR), for example, the recording and administration of working times and absences, and payroll accounting -- including the deduction of taxes -- are examples of time-consuming and monotonous activities. With the advent of robotic process automation (RPA), automation of recurring tasks -- high on accuracy and low on time consumption -- has led to greater efficiencies and created more productive workplaces.
When combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), departments can not only achieve efficiency by automating tasks but also drive structure around previously unstructured content.
By eliminating delays from incomplete processing and reducing the need for manual handling and the resultant errors, hyperautomation ultimately improves the customer experience lifecycle, ensuring customers are and remain happy in every interaction.
Since hyperautomation is fundamentally about seamlessly connecting standalone technologies and legacy tools to create new end-to-end workflows that deliver significantly greater efficiency, it seems natural that more and more banks will lean into the idea of automation as its pros far outweigh the cons.
Underpinning organisational resilience
The key to building future-ready organisations is to understand how value can be created in the work we do since people’s expectations are constantly changing. It also requires a deep understanding of the underlying challenges and the ability to envision a future where technology and humans coexist meaningfully.  After all, technology and people have always complimented each other and hyperautomation is just one further step in that direction.
So where do you start with hyperautomation?
As a first step, organisations need to understand the specific issues they are looking to address.

That means performing a business-wide analysis, to identify the component parts of every stage of a workflow. Once completed, the process of determining how the gaps between currently isolated ‘islands’ of task automation can be bridged, with the adoption of a hyperautomation strategy, and to identify the KPIs that need to be met.

Once the workflow is mapped, this also offers an opportunity to derive insights that feed your digitisation and automation strategy, which are aligned to your organisation’s overarching business objectives. Consider what new tools you will need, then identify expert solution providers who understand your specific requirements and can execute and implement your strategy.
Of course, it goes without saying that responsibility lies with each organisation to ensure there is sufficient interoperability between the different platforms, tools and technologies being proposed. As well as AI, ML and RPA, these can include event-driven software architecture, business process management (BPM) and the integration of platform as a service (iPaaS) solutions, along with other decision processing and task automation options. AI-powered tools have highly developed capabilities to uncover actionable insights from data, allowing companies to become better at what they do.
From a banking perspective, many of these technologies exist within the organisations, but often as stand-alone tools.
A critical factor when you develop your hyperautomation strategy is to involve employees during the planning and transformation rollout. Open communication is a demonstration of your intent and will give employees an assurance of how their workflow is going to change for the better and result in greater engagement in the workplace.
In response to the current shortage of software developers, IT departments are also increasingly championing the adoption of no and low-code software, which enables others in the organisation to independently create the applications they need.
It is important to recognise that implementing technology improvements is only one aspect of hyperautomation. Employees themselves must be brought up to speed to become far more data literate. That’s essential, as the winners in our new business landscape will be the ones better able to turn raw data into deep, insightful knowledge.
Hyperautomation can elevate the workplace from monotonous, to purposeful and engaging. This means humans can focus on tasks that require human touch and attention, unlock their creative potential and improve collaboration. From the perspective of tomorrow’s customers, the heightened engagement will become a catalyst for enhanced customer experience and lifetime value.

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