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article imageIntelligent processes for digital transformation goals Special

By Tim Sandle     May 24, 2018 in Business
Companies can design intelligent processes that empower everyone from new hires to the C-suite to make a dent in their digital transformation goals, according to Ryan Duguid of Nintex.
Digital transformation is helping to shape business. However, for many firms it remains a buzzword and many companies have little to show for the major technological and personnel investments they have made. According to Ryan Duguid, SVP of technology strategy at Nintex, what many in the C-suite tend to forget is that most front-line employees are not directly tied to the digital transformation mission — they just want to figure out how to get their work done.
The answer to this is to focus as much on the basics, like getting the printer to work, knowing who to send a contract to, setting up voicemail, as much as the major digital strategies. Companies can and should tackle these smaller items on their way to digital transformation.
Moreover, involving employees in improving these day-to-day tasks lightens their workload in the long term and engages them in digital transformation goals. Digital Journal spoke with Ryan Duguid about these issues.
Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy at Nintex
Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy at Nintex
Ryan Duguid
Digital Journal: How Important is Digital Transformation for businesses?
Ryan Duguid: It is vital. In the extreme, it is the difference between life or death for your business. At minimum, it is the difference between being a high-growth category leader or an industry laggard.
Despite its importance, it seems as though we may be getting inundated with so much messaging around Digital Transformation that it is numbing us to its importance and impact. But we have to pay attention, as the consequences are significant.
Why is it so important? Quite simply, if your business is not embracing digital to transform the way it transacts and interacts with both your customers and your employees, then you will very likely be left behind as the threat of disruption is very real. Consider the following. First, the largest taxi company in the world owns no vehicles (Uber); second, the largest accommodation provider in the world owns no property (Airbnb); third, the most popular media provider creates no content (Facebook); And, fourth, the fastest growing television network has no cables (Netflix).
Every single one of these companies digitally disrupted their industries to become category kings.
DJ: Is this importance equal for all sectors?
Duguid: Digital disruption is happening across every sector and industry. The need to digitally transform has never been higher, as it increasingly a “winner takes all” market dynamic. Some industries such as Telco, FinServe, Retail, etc.) are leading the way, while others (e.g., health care, oil & gas, and public sector) are much earlier in their transformation efforts…but, rest assured, all industries are impacted by this shift.
DJ: What are the main challenges?
Duguid:We recently commissioned a new study to assess the state of digital transformation and process automation. The results will officially publish in July 2018. But to give you a sample, we asked decision makers to evaluate the challenges to digital transformation. The most extreme challenge was IT bottlenecks/delivery timeframes.
Bottom-line: there just aren’t enough IT resources to transform the tens of thousands of processes in today’s enterprises.
DJ: How important is culture?
Duguid:Having the right company culture is essential for digital transformation. Organizations that are locked into their existing processes with little appetite for change will struggle and get left behind. Those who are agile and have a bias for action will thrive. Often times, the values of a company correlate well with their propensity to successfully transform. Companies with values that center on innovation, speed, embracing change, and empowering employees tend to do very well in this digital era, as these are all essential ingredients to successful transformation.
DJ: How can businesses attract the right employees?
Duguid:It is critical that potential hires get evaluated not just for their hard skills but also their soft skills. You need to hire employees who are drivers of innovation and thrive in a certain level of chaos. Employees tend to either do really well with change management or really awful with it. In today’s dynamic, transformative business environments, change management is a critical skill. Folks who have been in high growth companies or who have been close to agile development tend to do well with change.
But, there is no one place to get the “right” employees. Employers need to do whatever it takes to hire employees with the right hard skills, but also the soft skills that align with your company values and that set them up for success in a world of constant change.
DJ: How can employees feel more empowered in terms of implementing the right technologies?
Duguid:In many ways, this is already happening. In 2017, the line of business leaders (Sales, Marketing, HR etc.) outspent the IT departments on technology for the first time in history. So, this empowerment is already well underway. Because of the IT bottlenecks that we noted previously (see question 3 above), business group leaders realize that they must take control of their own destiny.
The most transformative companies have IT departments that don’t look to do everything themselves, but rather partner with the lines of business to identify and implement technologies so that they can self-service. In the world of Nintex, this means have a business ops professional automating her team’s processes faster than she could articulate requirements to IT. This is the future of technology and how we work. It provides tools, training, governance and support, but the business lines drive the day-to-day usage and deployment of technology to meet their business needs.
DJ: What services does Nintex provide?
Duguid:Nintex, the leader in the emerging Intelligent Process Automation market, enables enterprises to automate, orchestrate, and optimize their business processes. From the simple to the sophisticated, the Nintex Platform is used to automate manual and paper-based processes often comprised of unstructured tasks involving people and content.
DJ: Which types of clients do you work with?
Duguid: Nintex currently has more than 7,500 customers in more than 90 countries across the globe. Approximately 30 percent of the Fortune 500 use Nintex to automate, orchestrate, and optimize their business processes.
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