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What Defines an Automation Leader in Financial Services and How Do You Compare?

Michael Heffner, Vice President, Solutions and Industry Go To Market
July 6, 2021

Banking and asset management are advancing into a new era of automation, where human talents, bots, and AI are seamlessly and  flexibly unified into cohesive, hyper-efficient workflows. This creates an avalanche of new opportunities for innovation, value-creation, and improved profitability. In light of this need for digital transformation, Appian commissioned a study through the Financial Times' research arm, Longitude, to gain actionable insights on automation.

Recently launched at Appian World 2021, the Automation Maturity Index is the first of its kind to offer an interactive online benchmarking tool designed to help financial services firms assess their automation maturity based on responses to a series of questions across 10 dimensions of automation. The tool is informed by a global survey of 500 respondents across the financial services industry, including retail and commercial banks, institutional asset managers, and investment firms. 

But which companies are leading the way in automation? What best practices are common among those that are benefiting, and why do some fail to see added value? And how exactly should we define automation, anyway? The Appian Automation Maturity Index Survey investigates these questions. 

Automation Dimensions Defined

The study introduces 10 dimensions of automation maturity. It includes a new measurement framework for organizations to measure their progress more comprehensively and benchmark their true level of automation maturity relative to their competitors. Together, these indicators represent the foundation of modern automation excellence. Organizations that measure their progress—and excel—across these 10 dimensions are on a path of ever-improving resilience, growth, innovation, efficiency, agility, and operational performance.

The Best Versus the Rest

The benchmarking assessment tool sits at the core of the study, which is further enriched with a three-part report series on automation excellence and audio interviews with industry leaders. Part 1 of the report explores the recent surge in automation maturity in the financial services industry and the strategies that define leading firms. It also discusses how automation excellence supports significant competitive advantages, including the following:

  • Significant impact: Automation leaders are delivering major business benefits through their automation investments, with almost all reporting cost savings and increased competitiveness. 
  • Process excellence: Only 2% of automation leaders say that many of their processes (manual and automated) are inefficient. The vast majority have invested in improving operations through business process management tools and techniques.  
  • Leading on strategy: Automation leaders deploy enterprise-wide automation strategies and have established centers of excellence. Organizations that have neither struggle to assess the right priorities and optimize their automation results.

The Appian Automation Maturity Index gives financial services firms insight into their progress on their automation journey, benchmarking their position against peers and enabling them to confidently evaluate their efforts, identify areas of focus, and acquire best practices to follow through on their vision and execution. 

How do you think your company compares? Take the assessment.