Automation can cost execs money and customers, study reveals

31 Jan 2013

Even though financial services executives recognise the business value automation can add to their organisations, 37pc of them report having lost money and 31pc have lost customers at least once in the past six months because of automated decisions made by computer programmes, a new study suggests.

The study, Humans and Machines, was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by Ricoh. The research investigates the impacts of technology upon intuition and human creativity.

The research findings reveal some tasks still largely rely on human intuition, such as interacting with customers and managing risk, as cited by 46pc and 31pc of financial services executives respectively. 

Only 6pc of the executives think human imagination is essential to manage information and 8pc believe it is essential to manage regulatory compliance.

Most of these executives (71pc) agree that technology in isolation, without a process to connect it, delivers little value, and 86pc said human-technology interaction will only add value if the processes used to connect them are more creative. 

Ultimately, this innovation should lead to technology and humans working in symphony.

“It’s clear that technology plays an essential role in supporting new ideas for the financial services industry,” said Rick Hewitt, finance director at Ricoh UK and Ireland.

“The opportunity is to create a future where technology enriches human skills rather than competes with them, therefore empowering human creativity and innovation.

“The benefits will be improved business agility and the ability to deliver a better customer experience, with more efficient processes, that lead to more effective data security and compliance management,” Hewitt added.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic