Cognitive Intelligence, Interviews, RPA and Intelligent Automation

Interview: The automation journey of Credit Suisse and their key to success in RPA

René Konings

Program Manager Group Strategy and Architecture

René Konings has been Program Manager Group Strategy and Architecture at Credit Suisse since 2016. In his current role, he is responsible for the Central RPA, the RPA Lab and Business Automation Solutions incl. BPM and Business Rule application. Prior to starting at Credit Suisse, René Konings has been working for almost 20 years in different positions in several leading companies in the industry, including ABN AMRO, Rabobank, and ING.

Before Cognitive Finance, we talked to René Konings about Credit Suisse´automation journey and their key to success in RPA.

we.CONECT: How did you start your automation journey? What results have you achieved so far?

René Konings: Credit Suisse (CS) started their journey with building an RPA factory led by an external company, luckily, this failed fast. As the business case was managed centrally quite some processes without a real business value were automated. After the company changed their strategy from ONE BANK to a federated strategy a Centre of Excellence was initiated.

Most important for this CoE is the ability to balance the need for a centralised framework with the individual needs of domains/functions, provide oversight and guidance without mandating all aspects of RPA in the bank and determine which RPA related elements should be centralised and which left in the domain.

Key in the governance is that the Business Case is owned by the divisions/functions. This improves the quality of the exploration of processes to be migrated and delivers a much better ROI than when the business case is owned centrally.

we.CONECT: How do you govern the automation projects?

René Konings: Almost all aspects regarding RPA are governed by existing policies and standards, a specific RPA policy was developed to identify RPA as a separate discipline rather than categorize it under IT application or EUC. Additionally, an RPA governance board has been initiated to cover specific topics not covered by any of the other authorities within the bank.

we.CONECT: Did you find it easy to make budget for automation projects? Were there any surprises?

René Konings: A low as possible central budget is invested to maintain the Centre of Excellence and the IT ownership of the RPA toolkit. All other funding is aligned with the business case which is owned by the divisions/corporate functions.

we.CONECT: How did you decide on which processes to automatize?

René Konings: Exploration is done decentralised, which puts the decision which processes are automated with the owner of the business case.

we.CONECT: What are the current trends in RPA, AI and cognitive technologies in your industry, what goals would you like to achieve?

René Konings: Integrated Automation above any of the single disciplines mentioned will be key to the business value creation.

we.CONECT: Please can you give us an idea of what delegates will take away from your session at Cognitive Finance?

René Konings: Key is that they understand that RPA is not an isolated technology and should be used in a fit for purpose manner. They might also take away one or two practical advised how to govern RPA and Business Automation Solutions as a whole.

we.CONECT: What expectations do you have regarding Cognitive Finance?

René Konings: My expectation would be a lively interactive forum in which experiences are shared and of which I can walk away with one or two items which can improve my organisation

we.CONECT: Time for some shout outs! What did you read recently that would interest other like-minded people? Have you seen/heard any inspirational speakers recently?

René Konings:Next to Horses for Sources and my LinkedIn timeline I am mainly occupied reading articles of Professor Erik Brynjolfsson and Professor Andrew McAfee on digital transformation, their concepts like matrix of change can help organisations understand how transformation can be structured.

we.CONECT: Thank you very much for the Interview, René Konings

René Konings is speaking at Cognitive Finance 2019!

Webinar Topic: RPA as part of a bigger picture – Arguments for a holistic approach to automation at Credit Suisse


  • From vision to first automation use cases – Creating the RPA Factory
  • Strategic shifts and changes towards the current RPA program with a central CoC as technological enabler and decentralized implementation across different business units
  • Best practice use & business cases and the respective benefits of intelligent process automation
  • Measuring the overall success of RPA at Credit Suisse
  • Lessons learned and further steps

You want to learn more about this topic? Don’t miss Cognitive Finance 2019!

September 19 – 20, 2019 | Westin Grand, Frankfurt