A surge in on-demand labor platforms and online work management solutions is allowing financial services institutions to replace legacy models and hierarchies with talent marketplaces.

Thus far in this series, I have presented Accenture’s insights into two of the five key technology trends we identified during our Technology Vision 2017 Survey. I have given you an overview of our insights and recommendations on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, and on the new digital ecosystems shaping the future of financial services institutions. To continue my review of the five trends, I will discuss the workforce marketplace in this post.

On-demand talent as a true innovation in financial services

The way work gets done is changing as financial services institutions create a workforce with built-in flexibility, agility and scalability. In our survey of 5,400 business and IT executives, including 589 and 563 respondents from the banking and insurance industries, respectively, we made the following observations:

  • In banking, 16 percent of the workforce already consists of independent freelance workers. What’s more, 29 percent of banking respondents expect their organization’s use of these workers to increase more than 51 percent over the next year.
  • In insurance, 62 percent of the surveyed insurance executives indicated they plan to increase their organization’s use of independent freelance workers over the next year. Furthermore, nearly 79 percent said their organizations are under competitive pressure to extend innovation into their workforce and corporate structure.

Banks are shifting to more agile ways of working

We believe increasing the use of independent workers is a smart move for banks. Agile workers represent a broad pool of sought-after skills, knowledge and experience that banks can access as needed to compete as an agile, efficient on-demand organization.

  • Société Générale’s “Digital for All’ program, for example, is gradually and securely rolling out latest-generation office and collaborative tools to its teams, updating its infrastructure and network, and enabling communication without the barriers of location or traditional hierarchy.

However, in the heavily regulated world of banking, many roles fall under tough compliance rules that call for specific training and certifications. We recommend that banks determine how best to stay compliant while ramping up their workforce scalability, perhaps by identifying which staff roles are best suited for agile workers, and then adapting and governing the roles for easier compliance.

For other roles, banks could pair AI with people to fundamentally change the way bank employees work, and the type of work they do. Banks can also make use of on-demand labor platforms, such as Freelancer.com® and Gigster

The blended workforce in insurance

Because of the looming skills crisis, insurers are required to reimagine their workplace practices for a new generation of workers that expects to find pervasive collaboration tools at work and is open to freelance and portfolio careers. With new labor platforms and collaboration tools, insurance carriers can do just that.

  • AXA and other insurers are already leveraging technologies such as the Kaggle platform to efficiently match supply and demand for people and skills.
  • With on-demand labor platforms like Freelancer.com® and Gigster, which also provide online work management solutions, insurers can virtualize part of the workforce.  

In addition, many insurers are currently spinning out their digital ventures as new companies to give them the liberty to pursue disruptive business models free of legacy technology processes.

  • There is a surge in InsurTech venture capital investment from leading insurance incumbents, such as Allianz and others.
  • France’s AXA Group runs several innovative programs, such as crowdsourced initiatives, an InsurTech incubator, and a venture capital fund.

In my next post, I will discuss another Technology Vision 2017 trend: technology that adapts to people.

To learn more, access the full Technology Vision 2017 report, as well as the Technology Vision for Insurance 2017 and Banking Technology Vision 2017 reports.

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