Our digital future: experts on the opportunities and challenges

BPM APAC Live 2018

Ian Hawkins

boy on tablet

Digital Transformation has been a major topic in the PEX world for some time now, but there is still a divide between early adopters, and those who are reluctant to make big changes to accommodate technology that they find confusing, unproven and intimidating to break into.

These are big issues for any business, particularly those based in the APAC region. And so, Digital Transformation was the theme for BPM APAC Live 2018: our experts, from industry giants Signavio and Nintex were on hand to discuss topics vital to any organization undergoing transformation (or resisting it). Free to view on demand, the sessions are guaranteed to get you thinking about - and acting on - the opportunities offered by new technology. 


Driving Digital Transformation: The importance of BPM in driving RPA at scale
Thomas Zimmermann, Director of Business Transformation Solutions & Pre-sales, Signavio

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in our fist session, Thomas tells us that RPA continues to get attention, as more and more enterprises are embracing it to make front and back office tasks easier, across industries.

Although analyst reports suggest that RPA is growing by an incredible 60% year on year, reported growth from RPA vendors suggest that this might even be a low assumption!

So what's it being spent on? 

RPA is used to create a digital workforce to alleviate knowledge workers from doing repetitive tasks and give them the opportunity to focus on higher value activities. It's seen as a very promising technology, able to drastically reduce human FTE, is less error prone and potentially available 24/7: alongside these benefits are attractive implemention drivers including quick implementation cycles, low cost, and quickly realised ROI.

All of which sounds promising - but what about the limitations?

There's a lot of hype, says Thomas, but there's definitely a sweet spot at which the processes themselves have to be right. And if bots can stop working if there is a problem with the data, resilience is emerging as the big challenge: dealing with unexpected changes in the IT environment derailing projects.

In a recent survey of enterprise management associates, Thomas cites findings that you won't find in the average RPA vendor's sales brochure, with respondents showing a mixed response to their RPA projects. 'A lot of RPA projects actually fail,' says Thomas. '5 years into RPA there are very few examples of strong success... the ex-CEO of HSBC says that nearly 50% of RPA initiatives have failed...'

Watch now to find out why, and how you can avoid becoming an unhappy statistic.



Driving digital transformation: Automation and the unique power of people 
Ryan Duguid, Chief Evangelist, Nintex

Watch on demand

Digital transformation, says Ryan, is not just about getting the technology right; you also need to remember that it's only as good as the people behind it.

Ryan's presentation tackles the big subject of why neglecting the people at the heart of a business is a recipe for disaster when it comes to digital transformation: it's not all about the tech, he argues, people are important too.

The first big problem Ryan identifies is around communication and resourcing. 'Everybody talks about it and believes they have a plan,' he says, 'but there are a lack of communications and resources which is a big block.'

Ryan has identified the top 3 challenges to Digital Transformation as a lack of interdepartmental communication strategies, IT bottlenecks and insufficient training for line of business employees on new technology.

Skills are, he says, particularly crucial: 'We need to focus on education and training to make sure people continue to have meaningful work. Poor top down communication is leaving employees in the dark about Digital Transformation efforts within their own companies.'

This communication is also important: the leadership of an organization needs to communicate the reasons why they are carrying out changes - as well as showing what the changes will achieve in the long term. 

Putting people at the heart of transformation will keep the focus where it should be, using technology as a means to 'making a change in the way we do business. Technology is just an end game- we're thinking about customers, employees, innovation, the wider community.'

Ryan says that Digital Transformation must go beyond being thought of purely in terms of big data, the cloud, bots and RPA.

'The cloud's not magic, it's not a unicorn. Cloud computing is not Digital Transformation, and Digital Transformation is not a destination... it's not even a journey. It's a pursuit, and one we've had for a long time as a society and as individuals.'

Here's Ryan's full presentation.