Robots are empowering humans to be more human

18-02-14 15:25 | Digital banking | The Digital Hub

Alasdair Anderson (AA), Head of Common Platforms at Nordea, interviews Simen Munter (SM), our Personal Banking COO, about how data is changing the world and the impact it will have on the way we think and work. 

In the second of two blogs, Simen and Alasdair discuss the practical approach to reaching a democratised way of working, which empowers employees and creates great customer narratives.

AA: Let’s talk about automation, there is growing concern that robots may take people’s jobs and what will be left to do in the future. At the same time as we are building these robots, we’ve got the lowest unemployment rates ever seen but productivity is flatlining. Is robotics reaching a tipping point? 

SM: Robotics helps drive and create a future void of manual work to drive systems. Previously, these systems involved heavy programming. It’s been said: “It’s about taking the robot out of the human and giving the human more time to be a human.” Self-service is an efficient way of interacting and we want to focus on the customers and the lives of our people getting easier and innovations in robotics is enabling us to do more for customers without the traditional heavy integration processes.  

AA: Simen, are we going to build IT ourselves, will we buy it or will it be available through partnering up with fintechs? 

SM: Technology will transform our lives beyond our current comprehension. Nordea will be part of that transformation. Can we do everything in our area ourselves? I don’t see us doing that in the past, and even less so in the future. I don’t see us wanting to build all our own unique solutions, we want to partner with external ecosystems and Fintechs to help us on the journey and help ease what we have yet to do. 

AA: When you look at the way we work in the banking industry, we have an IT unit and a business unit and they have a very tightly defined interface. When you look at the areas and the state of aspiration for cloud services, it’s very much a self-service empowerment type of strategy. Do you think we will transform from a Command and Control to a democratisation way of working?

SM: We are used to having people come to technology to have their projects done. In the future, we clearly want to get to the stage where people can make their projects happen by themselves by assembling the right capabilities.That is a composable enterprise. IT will increasingly be the enabler of activity, not the executor in the future. In a world powered by rapidly changing technology this is a real challenge to  get there. In terms of what that means, it’s a huge shift across people, process and technology. On people; We are rapidly moving towards agile ways of working, creating self-empowered teams who is empower and capable of solving their challenges by themselves. On process, we see a huge shift towards component based. On systems we see a huge shift towards microservices, API and smart end-points. There is a red thread here – we are moving away from large to small across all elements.   In effect we are recognising that we can’t deal with increased complexity through more planning, we deal with big problems by breaking them into small pieces which we solve bit by bit.  The pace of that shift is still accelerating and that is making the work we are involved in so fascinating.

/Did you miss part one? Read it here. 

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