In my last post, I discussed how simple automation is not equal to intelligent automation. This time, I will try to explain how a workforce consisting of humans as well as machines can unleash each element to do its best work, and drive innovation in the process.

As I mentioned previously, artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly gaining momentum in the market. But AI technologies need to extend well beyond deploying analytics, natural language processing or machine learning systems in isolation. AI really begins to make an impact when companies incorporate it as an essential component of every business process, as a key layer in overall technology architecture. AI needs to move from being at the edge to a new layer of the IT stack.

In the near future, AI could drive growth in two essential ways:

  • Intelligent automation
  • Hybrid workforce

Intelligent automation for agility, speed, scale

Many capital market companies are automating, but the level of intelligence is minimal yet. As I mentioned in my previous post, the key advantage to intelligent automation capital is that it is self-learning. Intelligent automation capital constantly improves, rather than degrades, in value.

As financial services institutions rationalize business lines and refocus on a more client-centric approach to delivering value, they typically move away from product silos to an advice-oriented approach. This approach, as well as clients’ desire to self-serve digitally, could require automation with sufficient intelligence for increased agility, speed and scale.

A hybrid workforce: unleashing innovation

The future “virtual workforce” within investment banks and other financial services institutions will likely be comprised of a suite of technologies—from basic robotics process automation through AI and natural language processing. Not only could this workforce provide cost savings, it would allow its human counterparts to focus on roles that add the most value—from innovation to client relations.

The probable end result is really a hybrid workforce—part human, part machine—that allows each component to reach its full potential. As automation scales, machines could take on a significant percentage of the current workload:

AI Quick Facts
Source: Turning Automation into Intelligence, Accenture 2017.

Put simply, machines using AI could contribute to productivity not only because of their speed and accuracy, but also because they could allow people to make more efficient use of their time.

The productivity increase that results from utilizing a hybrid workforce could dramatically reduce the number of years it could take for economies to double, according to a recent Accenture research.1 Our study shows that the United States could nearly double its economic growth rate by 2035, with the United Kingdom not far behind.

In my next post, I will offer some suggestions for finding the right balance for a hybrid workforce, and for making the most of intelligent automation for your business.

Take a look at the Turning Automation into Intelligence report for more information. This report on Robotics Process Automation in Capital Markets might also be of interest.



  1. Why Artificial Intelligence is the Future of Growth. Accenture, 2016. Access at:


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