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The financial services (FS) industry is on the brink of a brave new world created by artificial intelligence. This new chapter of the industry will be marked by an effective collaboration between intelligent technology and human ingenuity within the workforce.
According to our Future Workforce Survey, our global research with over 15,000 participants, this is not a prediction about a distant future, but rather a revolution that has already started taking place. Three out of four senior executives believe the industry will be completely transformed by intelligent technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) will be critical to their organisation’s ability to differentiate itself in the market within the next three years.
Our analysis indicates that between 2018 and 2022, banks that invest in AI and human-machine collaboration at the same rate as top-performing businesses could boost their revenue by an average of 34 per cent and their employment by 14 per cent. Similarly, IDC forecasts that corporate spending on AI systems will increase at a compound annual rate of 54 per cent between 2015 and 2020 globally.
The survey also found despite the scepticism of many in the media, these technologies are not harbingers of doom for labour. While 76 per cent of financial services firms will significantly automate tasks and processes in the next three years, 67 per cent of FS executives believe intelligent technologies will result in a net increase in jobs in their organisation and 67 per cent of employees believe AI will create new opportunities for work.
Our revenue- and employment-growth prediction is based on reimagining the value chain. Rather than just applying AI to automate work in existing services and processes, it focuses on reimagining the customer experience and the overall business model using AI. Our econometric modelling combined financial and investment data from IDC, Ovum and Capital Q in order to account for the productivity impact of different sets of new technologies for both “leading” and “follower” companies. Leading companies are the top 20 per cent in both AI investment and performance.
Leaders are the ones scaling the application of these technologies across their businesses, as well as exploring new business models. For instance, Morgan Stanley is augmenting the work of its 16,000 financial advisors through the introduction of AI agents. The intelligent advisors continually interact with human co-workers to recommend a range of options that take into account their clients’ changing financial situations. This enables the financial advisors to contact clients at the right time with more relevant advice. One Accenture client has developed a human-AI hybrid workforce, where algorithms predict which orders face a risk of cancellation or payment disputes. Employees can therefore spend more time and are better equipped to attend to high-risk situations and proactively mitigate negative outcomes.
Here at Accenture we believe a true collaboration between humans and machines will transform the financial services workforce to solve complex challenges, develop new products and create new markets. But these new technologies are also moving at a more rapid pace than the innovations of the past. The traditional players in FS do not have time for the “wait-and-see” approach.” The future workforce starts now.
In my next post, I will discuss the barriers to the implementation of AI in the financial services workforce.
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