Around 79% of North American bank operations leaders feel that updating legacy systems and innovations are essential for their bank’s existence, according to a research report published by Accenture.

The report titled ‘Back Office, It’s Time to Meet the Customers’ surveyed 80 bank operations leaders in North America.

About 74% of the respondents stated that improving the customer experience is their first strategic priority.

About 69% of the bank operations leaders believe that their operations hold trapped value where the customer data that can be used to introduce new products or services but are not utilised currently.

Accenture senior managing director and banking practice head Alan McIntyre said: “There’s a wealth of unlocked value to be extracted from banks’ operational systems, but releasing and optimising that value depends on the bank’s ability to use digital technologies.

“The challenge lies in the banks’ legacy systems, which can impede a bank’s ability to improve operations and prepare for the future.”

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By GlobalData

The survey also found that around 48% of the respondents already use cloud-based applications, while another 27% are planning to use in the next year.

Nearly one-fifth (22%) said they use artificial intelligence and 33% are planning to introduce it in next year. About 16% of the participants said they use robotic process automation, with additional 33% intend to use it in the next year.

About 39% of the respondents identified the cost of modernising the IT environment and its systems as the greatest barrier to drive digital transformation.

Nearly 38% of the bank operations leaders cited their complex legacy IT environment as an obstacle to undergo digital transformation.