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Workload automation transforming financial services

The financial sector faces increasingly complex workflows prompted by a global shift to cashless payments. New technologies have pushed to the forefront, like AI and the acceleration of online and mobile banking. Workload automation has emerged as the answer to the financial services industry’s strategies for effective digital transformation.

What does workload automation mean for the financial services industry?

Today, the financial services sector is increasingly using the power of technology to provide differentiated services, explore a variety of business partnerships, tap into new markets, and transform the way money flows.

Alongside the explosion of technology, new capabilities for workload automation are helping banking and financial institutions digitally transform, especially in driving operational efficiencies and meeting the ever-changing demands of customers.

Implementing financial automation software within a complex financial system unlocks the potential of both the organization and its people. With various types of automation solutions available to financial enterprises, we can explore the use cases and explain how banks, credit unions and other financial institutions can benefit from workload automation solutions such as OpCon.

In the banking and financial services industry, automation is less about engaging physical robots, and more about mobilizing financial process automation software to automate and structure tasks that are usually performed by people.

Every day around the globe, financial institutions of all sizes are still using manual processing methods to complete long lists of business-critical tasks, resulting in massive workforce inefficiencies. The presence of antiquated job schedulers is widespread, and the required manual interventions and overrides consume valuable workhours that could be saved with the right financial automation. Since technology can now complete these tasks more quickly and securely than teams of individuals, workload automation for financial services is often a cost-effective way of optimizing financial business processes.

One of the major challenges within the financial industry is the inability to integrate various industry-specific software across IT, operations or accounting. OpCon workload automation connects across multiple IT platforms to create cross-system efficiencies from start to finish.

With financial automation implemented, there is less need for human capital to perform those tedious and repetitive tasks, and employees can shift to focusing on higher-value projects that help serve customers and scale the business. And with security and compliance being top of mind for financial institutions, workload automation minimizes many of the manual processes typically required to stay compliant, virtually eliminating errors.

How does workload automation compare to robotic process automation in the financial services industry?

When implemented in the processes of a financial services organization, workload automation tools and job scheduling solutions can help solve sophisticated problems by making intelligent decisions within a set of controls. Given the increase in online banking and cashless payment options, it’s important to have a financial automation system that self-improves as it receives more and more data.

For the financial industry, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) refers to software that is programmed to assist in processing the repetitive tasks employees do – much like a banking virtual assistant.

RPA-friendly tasks include sending emails, opening applications, and copying and pasting information from one banking system to another. However, RPA does not interact with each of the complex IT systems needed to run a successful finance institution.

In short, workload automation tools help financial institutions solve complex problems by performing repetitive tasks with minimal input, while RPA in the financial industry only automates very simple, manual tasks.

Why invest in automation for financial business processes?

In light of the global shift towards cashless societies, AI’s role in detecting and mitigating fraud, and the rise of online banking, automation has never been more important for financial organizations.

Workload automation platforms like SMA Technologies’ OpCon eliminate human errors with centralized script management and breaks down application silos by integrating cross-platform workflows within a single point of control. Having a single platform that grants visibility and control over all applications is by far the most efficient use of resources, saving man-hours across IT departments.

Financial automation has also proven a real game-changer for back-office procedures. Often financial institutions with thousands of people processing time-consuming customer requests risk inconsistent outcomes at best and a high error rate at worst. Automated financial solutions can drastically cut the time needed for back-office processing, freeing employees up to focus on more value-driving work.

Common applications of workload automation in financial services

Financial institutions around the world are using SMA Technologies’ OpCon workload automation to improve business critical processes and procedures such as:

  • • Disaster recovery and business continuity
  • • Customer due-diligence (CDD)
  • • File transfers
  • • Risk, compliance, and audit analysis
  • • Financial planning, and data reporting
  • • Customer account reconciliation
  • • Data validation
  • • Operational finance and accounting

A core use of the automation platform for financial services teams is improving risk management, and reducing expenses. When a bank has several operating systems with different scripts and workflows running on multiple servers, it becomes unmanageable over time, especially when attempting to process exceptions, and troubleshoot unexpected issues. With a single pane view, OpCon offers financial institutions clear visibility across multiple operating systems, different programming languages, and even departments.

Efficiencies in financial institution disaster recovery environments is also key to providing proper support to customers. Prior to deploying SMA Technologies’ OpCon in its disaster recovery environment, VyStar Credit Union’s failover process took about two and a half hours and required more than 150 manual steps. OpCon now automates 95% of this process.

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How SMA Technologies can help automate financial services

SMA Technologies’ OpCon workload automation platform helps financial enterprises meet their strategic business goals, without the need for a costly upskilling drive internally. Thanks to cross-functional, bi-modal orchestration and hybrid cloud infrastructure, OpCon can drive operational agility, as well as automation at scale for financial services organizations.

For busy finance teams, a clear consolidation of workflow operating systems is essential for the smooth-running of their business. With a single financial automation platform, OpCon workload automation makes it possible to improve employee productivity and speed, while reducing risks, operational costs, and human errors.

Financial services organization Jack Henry & Associates (JHA) recognized that reliance on inefficient manual processes was the root cause of multiple obstacles on their technology roadmap. So, JHA integrated OpCon with all third-party data-flow processes (data warehouse, BI, ACH, check clearing, federal reserve, etc.) to run a $14.4M to $3.5B client on the same system due to automation abilities.

Over the course of 10 years working with OpCon, JHA went from 7 production servers to 300, and added over 250 data center clients, while only needing to add one person to their IT Operations staff. They are now processing over 100,000 workflows with OpCon, and their system has evolved to be flexible enough to handle small clients as well as multi-billion-dollar clients using the same applications.

Ultimately, managing workflow, enhancing security and governance, and fully automating disaster recovery often has the greatest impact on a financial institutions’ ability to stay compliant, reduce costs, and boost efficiencies. With the finance industry seeing major shifts in how consumers interact with the business, workload automation is a vital tool for banking and financial institutions of all sizes.

Tell us how you’d like to automate

To find out more about how our OpCon workload automation platform can help you drive operational efficiency, use the form below to get in touch with one of our experts today.

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