Information and Communication Technology Capabilities and Business Performance: The Case of Differences in the Czech Financial Sector and Lessons from Robotic Process Automation between 2015 and 2020
; Department of Informatics, Faculty of Economics, Technical University of Liberec, Liberec, Czechia
Marek Vokoun ; Department of Economics and Management, Faculty of Social and Economic Studies, Jan Evangelista Purkyne University, Usti nad Labem, Czechia
This paper analyzes the rapid onset of Robotic process automation (RPA) technologies in the Czech financial sector between 2015-2020. The development and experience from the “hype-and-fear” phase contributed to business process integration and technological spillovers are expected in the future. If ICT capabilities are the source of performance differences, then most likely candidates are inventory and finances business process integration and implemented Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management systems. The RPA should not be seen only as simple automation but as a complex instrument offering a lot of advantages with a focus on benefits for internal and external stakeholders.
PURPOSE. The goal is to qualitatively analyze the experience with RPA implementation and quantitatively assess ICT capabilities via analysis of differences between various organizational ICT activities and types of companies in the Czech financial sector.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH. The qualitative case study was performed in the bank ČSOB, a.s. in 2019, respondents, owners of processes in the final part of automation, were chosen randomly from different departments of the bank. Data for the quantitative part comes from the ICT survey (Czech Statistical Office), business performance dataset (EMIS) and a case study about ICT capability implementation. Differences are assessed and indirectly interpreted using goodness-of-fit approach.
FINDINGS AND IMPLICATIONS. The results from the RPA case study revealed that the Czech financial sector is past the “hype and fear” phase and many companies focused on their return on investment and are beginning to focus more on other stakeholders. According to this development, the requirements and outputs are suggested in the phases of RPA implementation. The possible source of rofitability performance differences are integrated business processes.
LIMITATIONS. Financial sector data are anonymized in ICT surveys and the measurement of the competitive advantage of ICT capabilities is only indirect. Qualitative approach is suggested with focus on technological efficiency measurement using data envelopment approach.
ORIGINALITY. This paper provides an understanding of the strong experience in RPA in Czech financial sector. Certain initial setbacks in RPA are expected and this paper suggest to focus on knowledge management (lessons learned) and other requirements influencing the successful RPA prototyping and implementation process.
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