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Feb 2018 - IDC Perspective - Doc # AP43545718

Robotic Process Automation in Asia/Pacific Financial Services: Key Learnings from 10 Early Adopters

Authors: Michael Araneta, Sneha Kapoor

Abstract

IDC Financial Insights continues our series of reports on automation in financial services by looking at robotic process automation (RPA), often cited as the essential first step toward automation but could more accurately be described as part of a continuum of technology-enabled initiatives to bring intelligence in the automation of business processes.

The Institute for Robotic Process Automation defines RPA as the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a "robot" to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses, and communicating with other digital systems. IDC further defines RPA as a software code that automates and assigns standardized, rules-based, repetitive, and high-volume processes involving several interoperable systems — which were traditionally executed by humans — to a robot. To a certain extent, RPA can be described as human-defined decision making, where rules are created by humans, with these rules determining the triggers, process flows, and activities to complete a business process.

Michael Araneta, associate VP, IDC Financial Insights, says, "Aside from the 10 early adopters, we note of many more implementations at the pilot stage in 2018, with other FSIs fervently waiting to take their first step. We expect continued growth in the next 2–3 years as more and more institutions appreciate the overall quick-to-realize benefits, more use cases are presented in the market, and better and advanced product propositions are made available by RPA vendors. IDC Financial Insights estimates that RPA will be in use in 40% of Asia/Pacific banks and insurance companies by 2020. "

"The real game changer for FSIs will be the use of cognitive automation, where cognitive technologies and advanced analytics are combined with RPA. It can be in the form of robo-advisors, chatbots, and virtual insurance agents which are self-learning, self-adapting and offer intelligent assistance and advisory services to improve customer retention and loyalty. Out of this 40%, 25% of Asia/Pacific banks and insurances will be deploying cognitive technologies for intelligent decision making by 2020," adds, Sneha Kapoor, senior research manager at IDC.

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