FinServ Emerging Tech

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FinServ Emerging Tech - Workforce Challenges

There was no publicly available data on the most common challenges faced by employees of financial services companies in the Northeast when new technology is introduced. However, we were able to pull together some helpful findings, including that many employees fear they will become redundant due to new technology, and that getting employees to buy-in to the process can improve the implementation process. Below we outline our research strategies to better explain why the data was not publicly available, and provide some helpful findings related to the request.

Research Methodology

We began our research by looking for data on the challenges faced by financial services companies when they implement new technology, with a focus on challenges for employees. We utilized reputable business consulting firms such as KPMG, McKinsey, and Deloitte, as well as business media such as Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Most of the results found related to tech implementation in general (not related to financial service companies) and the technology challenges facing companies in the financial services industry.
Next, we searched for case studies on financial services companies technology implementation process. Our hope was that any case studies found would have details on the challenges faced during implementation, including those specifically faced by employees. This search brought us to sites such as ResearchGate, SpringerLink, and Forbes. The case studies uncovered details on tech implementation in the mining and health industries, as well as information on how new technology can improve the work experience for employees. However, there was nothing found specific to challenges that arise for employees in the financial services sector when new tech is implemented.
For a final strategy, we identified some large banks that are located in the Northeast to see if we could find any details on recent tech implementations and how those impacted the employees. LendingTree publishes a list of the largest banks based on deposit amounts, and we used this list to identify five banks to research further. We decided to look at large banks because it seemed more likely there would be publicly available data on processes they followed or challenges they have faced, partially because these large banks are also more likely to be public, and have reporting regulations that they need to follow. The five banks we identified are PNC Bank headquartered in Pennsylvania, The Bank of New York Mellon headquartered in NYC, TD Bank headquartered in Delaware, State Street Bank and Trust headquartered in Boston, and Goldman Sachs headquartered in NYC. Note that only banks headquartered in the Northeast were included so our focus could remain on the required geographic region. For each bank, we proceeded to look through annual reports, media sites for news on tech implementation, and press releases on tech advances being made. While this strategy did allow us to find articles on new tech that is being implemented by the banks and an article on how PNC is now thinking of themselves as a tech company that offers financial services, the strategy did not allow us to locate the specific requested information.
The niche nature of this request, both in terms of industry and geographic scope, are likely why the data was not publicly available. However, there was data available on challenges faced by employees in general when new tech is deployed in a company, and we share that information in the helpful findings section below.

Helpful Findings

  • First Horizon National Corporation implemented a natural language processing solution to get feedback from employees, including data on how employees feel.
  • When deploying new tech into the work flow, employers will have to find ways to deal with employees who are not tech savvy, or who have negative reactions to change.
  • A survey of 1,200 banking executives found that they believe only 1-in-4 employees is prepared to deal with AI in the workplace.
  • Employers may get more buy-in from employees if they focus on smaller, more continuous changes rather than one large overhaul.
  • KPMG asked four financial executives what they see as the biggest challenge in tech implementation, and two of them said it was convincing employees that the change would be good for them personally and for the organization as a whole.
  • A global survey by Emolument found that 47% of financial services employees felt that new tech was putting their jobs at risk.
  • Many employees have fears around being made redundant, or not being able to keep up, when new technology is introduced at work.
  • When banks introduce blockchain into the work flow, employees can feel like they are being "introduced to a whole new world." This can cause them to feel overwhelmed.
  • PNC runs a APIFest (Application Prgam Interface) where teams of employees build applications that will benefit customers. Rather than simply introducing new tech to employees, the company is giving employees a hand in creating it.
  • All employees need to be trained properly on how to use new technology. Even if it is similar to something used before, companies can't assume that everyone will be able to jump right in with the new tech.
  • Involving impacted employees in the decision process for new tech will improve buy-in.

  • "Technologies that require multi-day training programs and hefty user manuals are a surefire recipe for employee bellyaching and a stalled adoption. Bonnet suggests running “comparative pilots” of various technologies to ensure you’re choosing the right one. "
  • "Banks can achieve greater efficiency and scalability by focusing on continuous change rather than large-scale transformation, and by integrating a digital perspective into their business strategies. They should focus throughout the cycle on cost optimization and, crucially, develop cost-driven (as opposed to purely revenue-led) reward structures that apply throughout the organization, to ensure that all employees are looking for opportunities to improve efficiency"
  • "With a new report by McKinsey predicting that automation may wipe out up to 30% of the hours worked globally by 2030, every professional – especially those in financial services – must plan for the impact of the digital transformation on their career."
  • "A common fear among small business owners is that if they invest in employee training, then those employees will be better qualified to leave for better positions elsewhere. Research, however, shows that the opposite is true. Paid training – just as with pay and good working conditions – actually increase employee loyalty, particularly when they know that additional training opportunities will be available in the future."
  • " For the new technology to be successful in your company, you will need to win over your staff to its use. Ideally, you can make them see its benefits and get them excited about those benefits. But even if they are not enthusiastic, everyone in your company that you expect to use the tech needs to do so."