Harnessing smart technology in the 21st Century in the Financial Industry
Technology impacts every industry, but some are finding themselves transformed more than others. Banking leaders understand that their sector is among the most impacted. This explains why such an overwhelming proportion (about 90 percent) of banking respondents in Accenture’s 2017 Technology Vision research report that their organizations must innovate at an increasingly rapid pace just to keep a competitive advantage.
Innovation is everywhere in banking. Data analytics continues to reinvent decision making; there are software robots in operations and humanoid robots in branches;3 meanwhile, emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI are changing the fundamental services and mechanics of banking.
The risk function is evolving both as part of these trends and in reaction to them. In other words, these innovations are changing the way the risk function operates, while at the same time, the risk function has to adapt to the rapid pace of innovation across most areas of the bank, not to mention the wider ecosystem.
For example, while risk professionals have historically had responsibilities separable from customer service and satisfaction, today—with customers increasingly expecting rapid, personalized digital services—risk has become a key facilitator of superior customer service (e.g. by automating, integrating and accelerating risk management processes).
Banking risk leaders are looking to use technology to make incremental and transformational changes. Part of this involves industrializing some of the ways they manage risk, automating labor-intensive activities and integrating processes into operations. These strategies can help the function devote more human resources to the pursuit of deep insights and innovations, while also helping to reduce costs and gain more control over operational and conduct risk.