Back Office Automation is Easier Than You Think

If you find the idea of automating the back office at your institution daunting, read on. It might not be as difficult as you think.

A few years ago, McKinsey & Company published an article on why banks try (and sometimes fail) to automate their back office operations. Let’s look at the most common obstacles to bank back office automation, and why we think financial institutions of all sizes should still consider automating their back office.

Perceived Obstacle #1: Financial Institutions Rarely Examine Their Back-Office Procedures

Banks and credit unions have traditionally set growth or launching new products as their highest priorities. In doing, so these organizations have added layer after layer of product features and complexity to their existing systems (core, card, loan origination). All of this has resulted in complex business processes that seem difficult to automate.

Perceived Obstacle #2: Mergers, Acquisitions, Product Launches, and Regulation Make Back Office Automation Too Difficult

Years of mergers and rules have left banks with complex IT systems comprised of separate platforms to issue cards, board loans, and house customer information. Traditionally, redesigning established systems could take years and cost millions of dollars. This assumption causes banks and credit unions to shy away from automating the back office.

Perceived Obstacle #3: IT Lacks the Resources to Make Automation a Reality

IT departments have been trained to use waterfall models on big projects. While fine for major system redesigns or maintaining the mainframe environments in which core banking systems are run, waterfall models are less than ideal for implementation of automation. They aren’t necessary when it comes to automating the back office. It can often be done quickly and painlessly with the help of advanced software.

Now, the Reality:

The truth is, these perceived obstacles are all wrong. While implementing an automation solution does require a thorough examination of your manual workflows, the right software will work with your existing systems and processes to automatically perform tasks.
If mergers and acquisitions have created a network of separate applications in your back office, automation technology should be a solution, not an obstacle.  It will improve your back office processes by automatically moving data between applications via the user interface. No system mapping or redesign is required.
Finally, don’t let the fear of a perceived lack of resources keep you from opting for automation. Foxtrot was designed to help the subject matter expert – the Operations, Deposit, or Lending professional – automate their work without help from IT. Foxtrot is ideal for the organization with real resource shortages so they can get more work done with fewer people.
With a little help from the right people, automating your back-office operations can be done in a matter of hours with no complex programming or planning. Want more information? Read our free whitepaper on how you can use robotic process automation to revolutionize your back office and improve the efficiency of your banking institution.

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