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Genfour’s FS Automation Forum: 5 Key Takeaways Over Breakfast at the Gherkin

A big thanks to the team at Genfour for extending the invite to me for their first Automation forum, held at the Gherkin. Though a cloudy day with no view, the conversation showed true vision and insight amongst a packed room representing a very engaged cross section of the financial services community.

Chatham House Rule ruled, so I won’t divulge any specifics, but I do feel I can give readers a flavour of the breakfast, if not the Full English.

Breakfast at a Glance

The group was representative of both the banking and insurance industry, ranging from those who were still in the fact gathering stage surrounding automation, all the way through to those who had been successfully automating for over two years. We were lucky enough to have a speaker from a large insurance firm discuss the firm’s mature case study implementing and optimising automation, coming away with very specific recommendations as well as some spot-on ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts.’

My Key Takeaways

Given enate specialises in automated service delivery, the conversation surrounding automation (often robotic process automation specifically) was especially relevant, and it was in interesting to hear about what services people were looking to automate, and the problems they may have had along the way.

We touched a bit on what we have come to know as Robotic Service Orchestration, and I had few things to add along the way, which I’d like to re-iterate here and which I hope are helpful tips:

  1. Creating a culture of automation where robots and humans co-exist to deliver better services to customers is the ultimate end goal.
  1. It’s important to think about delivering great service, rather than simply automating as many processes as possible. It does not make sense to automate everything. There will always be areas of business process that do not deliver bang for buck when it comes to bots. Real end-to-end services involve customers, staff and different types of bot.
  1. When it comes to managing people and automation, orchestration really is key. Orchestration enforces a change in behaviour towards improvement and agility while maintaining command and control.
  1. Understand that automation takes some getting used to –businesses need to understand what it means to automate a process. Think about the exceptions - how is the robot fed? How quickly can feedback be delivered, and how does it need to be delivered? There is a difference between critical and non-critical feedback, which can be delivered differently (email, or more direct.) The level of detail the business provides for processes may help teams to understand what needs to be automated first.
  1. When it comes to adding value via optimisation, aspire higher than simply automating responses to broken processes. The caveat is that communication is only required if the process takes too long. Once this process is automated, the only necessary communication to the customer should be a notification that the task is complete.

Once again, thank you to the Genfour team for the invite to what was a thoroughly enjoyable event, and I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces as well as meeting some new people within the FS community. Here’s to the next in the forums, and to continue discussion and debate the journey to intelligent automation.  

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