Robots are taking a gigantic leap in their development and when it comes to automating processes that are repetitive, they are becoming a first choice for companies who want to cut expenses and improve their processes.
The financial sector is one of the early adopters of robotic technology to remove the human factor and emotions out of the equation and get better results. They have taken on computer programs based on a set of trading signals that determine when to buy or sell a currency at a given point in time. These robots are called Forex trading robots, and they are specially designed to get the psychological element of trading, which can in many ways be detrimental.
The Forex robots are programmed to follow trends and to move within a certain range to reduce risk, however, this means if a sudden move in the market is made, the robot will not be able to predict it and it may result in loss of profits.
These robots can actually be purchased by anyone on the internet, but it does not guarantee that it will work without failures. These systems are usually developed by experience traders how put their own knowledge and techniques into their software.
Moreover, online or open markets are not the only ones using algorithms or Artificial Intelligence (AI) to get better results, but also the greatest trading houses in the world. The use of algorithms in electronic markets has automated the jobs of tens of thousands of execution traders worldwide, and it’s also displaced people who model prices and risk or build investment portfolios.
What jobs can be automated?
First of all we need to understand that not every activity in the financial sector can be replaced by a robot. Finance organizations perform a wide range of activities, from collecting basic data to making complex decisions and counselling business leaders. As a result, the potential for improving performance through automation varies across subfunctions and requires a portfolio of technologies to unlock the full opportunity.
The McKinsey Study has shown that about 42 percent of tasks in the financial sector can be automated. The easiest ones being accounting, tax management, cash disbursement or financial controlling and external reporting. While the hardest ones to automate are where human knowledge and interaction is more present and indispensable such as risk management, audit, external relations and business development.
The main process is know as robotic process automation (RPA), a basic task-automation technology, that works along existing IT systems, RPA is a common “software robotics”, not exactly a physical robot, which has been successful applying business-process management and optical character-recognition tools, across a number of activities in finance.
Many of the RPA processes have been around for many years, but they have been continuingly getting better, faster and cheaper over the past decade. And while they are becoming easier to implement, companies are getting ready to do it.
Facing the hard truth
It is the hard truth that robotics is going to automate many tasks and eventually lead to major changes in organisational structures, redefined roles and layoffs.
However, the way many enterprises are facing this challenge is often taking their employees into consideration. They start off with the more mundane, transactional tasks, which inherently have higher turnover. Rather than releasing a lot of people, in many cases you just don’t fill existing roles as people leave. Also, such roles usually don’t require a major organizational redesign to capture automation’s benefits.
A team that currently requires 20 people could simply reduce its head count to ten by using a fully or partially automated solution. Going after basic tasks first allows the remaining employees to focus on the more professionally rewarding tasks, and early wins create the capacity and funding that help the finance function to fund other parts of the automation journey by itself.
Another way is to involve the Human Resources department into redeploying employees and prepare them for the inevitable change that they will be facing. Communicate the automation plan to the roles that will be affected and explain the plan you have for them. Many companies have actually found ways to relocate their workers to more valuable roles.
Even if technology intimidates some employees, a willingness and ability to learn new tools is important. Future leaders will be quite excited by a function on the leading edge of digitization and automation. Maybe your automation program is planned to begin in a couple of years, then adapt the recruiting and retention profile to get the finance professionals you need. For example, start mapping out the current roles that will be replaced, figure out a redeployment plan or a training system to teach them the abilities that will be needed to install, program or work with the RPA.
Machine learning talent, AI experts and software specialists are the roles of the future, think of looking at local colleges for associating with them and create internship programs at your facility. Programs like this will be critical to attracting talent that can lead to an increasingly automated finance function.
It is a reality that automation is already reshaping the future of work, not only in finance, but in many sectors. And there is nothing left but to adapt, since businesses who build a clear early perspective on the nuances of the automation journey will be well positioned to thrive.