Financial institutions today operate in a highly uncertain economic, political, competitive and regulatory environment. These factors are putting immense pressure on firms’ profitability, market sustainability and reputations and, in the worst of cases, are shaking investor confidence and public trust. Adding to that, firms face mounting corporate investment and spend in compliance efforts as well as an increasingly complex web of fragile organisation processes. Left unchecked, this can lead to highly inefficient and unsustainable risk management and operations environments for many financial institutions.

The current situation should not come as a surprise to anyone. Most organisations, when faced with new market dynamics, regulatory requirements or accounting changes, often initially allocate or add people to the mix to meet deadlines and perform much of the early heavy lifting. There commonly is not enough time or insight into the best way to tackle new requirements to make truly informed decisions about how, where and when to deploy technology to address the issues. But, throwing people at an issue is rarely efficient for the long term as issues of capacity, repeatability and sustainability need to be considered. So, technology and automation routinely become part of a second wave of discussion once the initial requirements have been addressed. This evolution, in and of itself, is not an undesirable method by any means. It can often help to crystalise a process approach and clarify where technology or automation may be applied most effectively and where, perhaps, it would not be appropriate.

Jul-Sep 2017 Issue