Evolution of Skills in the BFSI Sector

Apart from AI, blockchain and data science, skills such as robotic process automation, IT development and content development are crucial for growth in the BFSI sector today

The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector is growing at a rapid pace on the back of widespread technological uptake. Today, a major part of banking is carried out through digital methods and individuals rarely set foot inside a brick-and-mortar bank. To keep up with the dynamic business landscape and meet the needs of evolved customers, banks are doing away with their legacy systems and upgrading to much more sophisticated processes. These novel processes are being driven by innovative technologies including cloud computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and more.

A recent report by McKinsey pertaining to technology in the BFSI sector mentioned that over 30% of tasks will be taken over by machines by 2022. While banks have been using automation to streamline processes for a long time now, new innovations will revolutionize systems and take over certain human job roles completely. In such a scenario, many jobs in the BFSI sector will evolve into increasingly tech-centric roles which will require highly-skilled employees.

Technologies driving growth in the BFSI sector

The BFSI sector is more data-driven than most other industries across the globe. The industry sits on volumes of data pertaining to customers and leverages this to enhance offerings in a more tailor-made manner.

Therefore, Big Data is critical for banks that wish to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving business landscape. Currently, players in the sector only use 0.5% of their Big Data and are quickly realizing the untapped potential in accessing and effectively using the remainder. As a result, the demand for skilled data scientists is skyrocketing. In fact, data scientist jobs in India grew by 400% in the last one year.

It is widely acknowledged that the next stage of evolution in the banking sector will be ignited by the concurrent uptake of open banking, blockchain and AI. Many banking institutions are adopting blockchain technology in order to create a transparent, secure and decentralized database that confers a large degree of unanimity into the bank’s data records.

Blockchain technology facilitates several digital banking processes such as collateral management, KYC, smart assets and more. As an increasing number of banks adopt the technology, the demand for blockchain engineers is bound to rise rapidly. In the past year alone, blockchain jobs have seen a 400% increase with salaries shooting up by 50-100%.

AI is perhaps one of the most sought-after new tools in the BFSI sector. The intuitive technology has been deemed as a game-changer in the BFSI sector, which can boost profitability for companies exponentially.

The technology is being deployed to streamline several processes including customer service, compliance, security and more. A recent report by Accenture titled ‘Accenture Banking Technology Vision 2018 report’ mentioned that 83% of Indian bankers believe that AI will work alongside humans in the next two years. There is a huge potential for AI in BFSI that is yet to be unlocked. Players in the BFSI sector will, therefore, look for skilled AI professionals over the next few years.

Apart from AI, blockchain and data science, skills such as robotic process automation (RPA), IT development and content development are crucial for growth in the BFSI sector today. Surprisingly, a great focus is being laid upon soft skills in the industry. As mobile banking reduces the need for face to face customer interactions, the few meetings that do take place will require flawless people skills. Sales, negotiation and service skills are also of the utmost importance in today’s tech led scenario.

The need for upskilling to remain relevant in the sector

As technology changes the nature of jobs in the BFSI sector, it becomes important for professionals to acquire futuristic skills that will allow them to remain relevant in their job positions. Banks need to think about capabilities and focus on upskilling their people in order to stay competitive.

This is where online learning systems enter into the picture. As the first step towards a skilled workforce, organizations are adopting Edu-Tech platforms that allow their employees to upgrade their skills in a collaborative and efficient manner.

Banks are looking to retrain their employees on a large scale and utilizing robust e-learning platforms is the best way to do so. E-learning platforms take into consideration the different learning abilities and levels of professionals, to offer personalized content across a variety of topics.

Leading learning management systems also streamline upskilling endeavors by offering tools to measure the success of upskilling programs. They also identify the training needs of employees within a certain sector and provide content accordingly.

As financial institutions bring in a new wave of innovation, the future of BFSI is more consumer centric and tech-enabled than ever before. Organizations are making rampant efforts to remain in line with the changing times, and skill enhancement is a huge part of the required transition.

Going forward, the sector will witness robust upskilling across domains as RPA, AI, blockchain and data science among others, bolstering the next level of evolution in one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian economy.

By Mr Kamal Dutta, Managing Director – India, Skillsoft

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