61% of organisations now either use Robotic Process Automation (RPA)/robotisation or are developing ideas on how to incorporate the technology into their business. This represents an increase of 15% compared to 2020 figures (46%), as found by the latest Year-on-Year analysis of data accumulated by Visma | Onguard in its annual 2021 Fintech Barometer.
This rise in RPA adoption coincides with the increased use of Intelligent Automation (IA) tools, which expands on RPA functionality with supporting technology solutions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Significantly, almost half (47%) of respondents identified AI as the biggest trend to impact the sector, up from 36% in 2020 and 29% in 2019. Not only that, but AI also came out on top in terms of its perceived impact on the order-to-cash process, up from 36% in 2020 to 40% in 2021.
IA technology itself has seen wider uptake among businesses, with 53% of respondents in the survey having reported the use of IA tools within their organisation. Much of this trend is likely to have been driven by the need for financial organisations to harness data-driven insights and use them to both inform decision making and define business strategy. This is reflected in the fact that almost two-thirds (65%) of organisations stated that they were either a fully data-driven organisation or that data supports their processes.
In terms of the wide-reaching impact of data, big data was also identified by 44% of respondents as one of the top three trends to impact the financial sector, representing an increase from 36% in 2020. As the importance of data becomes more widely known to the financial sector, it plays a prominent role in shaping strategy for more businesses. Only 8% of organisations reported that they were not hoping to become fully data-driven at some point in the future, a decrease of 5% from 2020 (13%).
“Many financial businesses are beginning to embrace the concepts of RPA and IA, even if they’re yet to fully utilise it in their operations. Much of this uptake is due to data now driving processes and technology solutions, with big data among the top trends in the industry. As financial professionals better understand how to apply data, we can continue to expect to see increased uptake of new emerging solutions,” said Adriaan Kom, CCO at Visma | Onguard.