Dissecting digital transformation with Appian’s very own problem solver
By Martin Morris, senior staff writer, FinTech Futures
As the leader of the global industry group at Appian, Mike Heffner is a problem solver – his team being responsible for engaging with customers, partners, and analysts to solve digital transformation challenges in all key verticals, including the public sector, life sciences, healthcare, energy, insurance, banking, and capital markets.
A speaker, author and thought leader, the key to Mike’s approach is bringing innovative solutions to problem solving, based on his extensive leadership experience in operational efficiency and business transformation.
Prior to Appian, he was managing director, business transformation at State Street Corporation, held management roles at Charles Schwab & Co, and Accenture’s creating-financial-markets-advantage executive group. Mike holds a BSBA in Economics from University of South Carolina, and an MBA from Babson College.
He was attracted to Appian because it fosters a culture that encourages employees to stay curious.
“We are always open to learning new things – and that could be new ways of selling, that could be new solutions you’re offering, that could be really understanding what your customer’s needs are,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s about making lasting relationships and acting with a spirit of generosity,” he adds.
Helping financial institutions adapt to the incredible amount of change now seen in the digital economy is of course a major consideration. Indeed, systems built five, ten or twenty years ago can no longer meet the expectations of today’s demanding customers.
Appian’s digital transformation platform unifies a business’ data, mobilises everything, makes IT its innovation team, and creates more productive employees and more engaging customer touchpoints.
“When I visit with our customers in financial services, they are all talking about the necessary fundamental transformation of key parts of their business like what they will need to undergo in order to reduce costs, enhance customer experience, support digital innovation to remain competitive,” says Heffner.
But as Heffner has previously stated, when it comes to digital transformation there is no one-size-fits all solution, with no technology vendors selling a digital-transformation-as-a-service solution.
For financial institutions implementation of a successful digital transformation that delivers on strategy, increases operational efficiency, reduces operating risks and fosters higher levels of interaction and integration, requires “an organisational culture that fosters a focus on customer centricity and a dedication to breaking down the silos that traditionally exist between business and IT.” In the absence of a cultural shift efforts may flounder.
But as financial institutions embark upon their digital transformation journeys technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) can help aid them.
Heffner says that “by combining RPA with cognitive technologies such as ML, object character recognition, chat bots, and natural language processing, financial institutions can automate higher-order tasks with intelligent automation that in the past required the perceptual and judgement capabilities of humans.”
“This technology can increase operational agility, improve customer service-level agreement (SLAs), reduce processing time and improve regulatory compliance,” he adds.