Over the next five to 10 years, changing demographics and technology will challenge current financial services business models and workforces.

By 2025, augmentation and automation could unlock between $87 billion and $140 billion in value for the North American financial services (FS) industry, according to the latest Accenture Future Workforce survey. Intelligent technologies are altering the way FS employees work. Though challenging, FS organizations must focus on building tomorrow’s skills base and reorganizing work around new workforce expectations, workplace requirements and technologies. 

Here are the six key stats that highlight the changes and challenges FS firms face as they adapt to intelligent technologies: 

  1. FS executives say that only one in four employees are ready to work with new tech.

According to Accenture research, FS executives feel that only 26 percent of employees are ready to work with artificial intelligence (AI) and other intelligent tech. It’s an attention-grabbing stat, when one considers the following:  

  • More than two-thirds (67 percent) of FS executives believe that AI will be critical to their organization’s ability to stand out as a leader in the market. 
  • Most (62 percent) FS employees believe that AI will have a positive impact on their work.  
  • The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s prediction that 42 percent of core skills required to perform most jobs are expected to shift significantly by 2022. 

So, the big question is, why do only a third of companies currently prioritize training to reskill employees? The reality is that many roles will be affected by new technologies. 

  1. Three out of four FS executives agree that employees are more digitally mature than their organization.

In contrast to the perceived lack of readiness of employees, most executives agree that their employees are generally savvier with digital than their company. The result is a workforce waiting for their organization to catch up—and 42 percent stating they would leave their current position because of substandard technology. 

  1. By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials 

As of 2015, baby boomers no longer make up the majority of the workforce. By 2025, three out of four employees will be millennials—a.k.a. generation Y. They and their Digital Native (generation Z) brothers and sisters enter the workforce having grown up with consumer technologies ingrained in their lives. They want a different work experience.  

  1. 88 percent of employees want flexible work schedules.  

For millennials, there are few boundaries between work and personal life. They choose to work in different ways, but they aren’t the only generation seeking an altered workday. A recent Robert Half survey in the U.S. showed that 66 percent of employees want a compressed workweek and 55 percent the ability to telecommute. 

  1. There are 7.35 million unfilled jobs in the United States. 

Another way of looking at this: there are 1.4 million more jobs than unemployed people. In contrast, two years ago there were more jobseekers than jobs available. It also highlights the digital skills gap that all industries face. Automation and augmentation have created new opportunities, but financial institutions struggle to keep up. There’s fierce competition for candidates with the needed data science and AIrelated skills. 

  1. 73 percent of FS organizations will need to reconfigure existing jobs.  

HR leaders need to focus their strategies on ensuring that people have the right skills for the new jobs that technology enables. This means learning to manage a diverse and multigenerational workforce with differing expectations and preferences. More new roles will emerge as humans and machines continue to collaborate. The winning FS firms of tomorrow will be the ones that stay ahead of the curve now. 

For more insight on the financial services workforce of the future, download the full Workforce 2025 report here. 

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