We are in the midst of a revolution in robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Cutting-edge intelligent automation technologies allow us to streamline the business, achieve lower costs, run smarter processes and deliver outcomes more quickly. People are however absolutely essential to transforming the finance function. Technology in turn influences the skills we need.
So what will change? Or rather… what has changed already?
It is a popular statement that now every firm is a software company. It is also true for the service firms that offer integrated platform solutions combining service with technology. Provision of such platform offerings does require new skillsets and their importance is continuously rising.
Higher than ever before is the demand for the relevant, technology- driven mix of skills: project management skills to cope with numerous projects; data analysts to help firms navigate the storms of continuous change; and finally, for those with excellent interpersonal skills. In today’s digital world of automation and constant change, what really matters is human imagination, the personal touch and the unique customer experience in which we can operate better.
Robots are our friends. Not necessarily in the sense of having a good conversation over a cup of coffee, but in the sense that they help us streamline some processes and make them more efficient. The ability to program, configure, run, teach or supervise robots is a relatively new skill for which demand is continuously increasing.
Designing the right pyramid structure for a short-term project is one of the key ingredients for success. It is even more important for long-term service assignments, as is the case with digital finance transformation.
“Right” is the key word here as it is a dangerous adventure to staff a complex service with too flat a pyramid in an attempt to maximize profitability. Equally, it is suboptimal to keep very experienced people doing a simple and routine job. Not only from the cost perspective but also because if they are bored, then they will not perform.
Even if it sounds simple and obvious, it requires a certain level of maturity to do it right. Business Process Outsourcing is focused on building and sustaining long-term relations with the clients. You can only achieve this by doing things right and doing them well.
My recommendations for how best to optimize the grade mix of your teams to include cutting-edge intelligent automation technology are as follows:
Ensure you have the skills available for the coming waves of technology.
Determine how you can take advantage of the cloud and get the best from the “as-a-service” market.
Recruit and develop people with analytical skills, digital customer experience and project management skills.