One of the biggest trends to emerge in recent years is digital business transformation: the integration and application of digital technologies to generate fundamental changes at all levels of business operations. Business leadership is always challenged by transformation. Today we face a multi-level challenge: leading employees through strategic and operational change brought with emerging technologies, while also keeping a laser focus on customers’ wants and needs.
Miguel Valdes Faura, open source evangelist
I believe in people. And I believe in empowering people with the right technology to allow them to do remarkable things. Developers build applications that run billion-dollar businesses, and that’s amazing. So we’ve built something for them. – Miguel Valdes Faura.
As Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Bonitasoft, Miguel Valdes Faura leads the company mission defined from the start: to unleash the full potential of development teams to create business applications with seamless, engaging and personalized user experiences to power digital transformation worldwide.
Miguel has overseen development of the Bonita application platform since its creation in 2001 when he was a researcher at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science. He subsequently transferred the Bonita project to the Bull Group where he led R&D, pre-sales and support for the BPM (business process management) division of Bull Information Systems, a major European systems provider. In 2009 he left Bull with Charles Souillard and Rodrigue Le Gall to found Bonitasoft to commercialize the open Bonita platform, and subsequently raise a total amount to date of $33M in venture funding. As the world’s fastest-growing BPM-based application platform provider, today Bonitasoft has thousands of customers and an open source community of more than 130,000 members.
Integrating people, automation, and technology streams through digital transformation
Digital technology platforms have been around for as long as digital technologies have been applied to real-world situations. However, what’s new is the comprehensive nature of digital business platforms, also known as digital transformation platforms.
Applications that improve customer experience and engagement are driving the demand for today’s digital platforms. But that’s only one side of the story – the customer-facing side. On the flip side is employee experience, enabling employees to work smarter with reduced workloads. There too is the developer experience, allowing developers to be able to build, test, deploy, and change enterprise applications quickly.
Further, integrated platforms can ease the convergence of multiple major business technology streams, including big data, data analytics, AI, machine learning, cloud, mobility, security, social media, cognitive computing, and digital disruption and transformation. Digital business platforms can serve as the cornerstone of digital business transformation efforts while providing openness and extensibility to development teams. They should be architected in a way that they are configurable, so only the capabilities needed are deployed and used.
When digital platform technologies take a no-code approach, they offer no possibility for creative developers to write code or extend them in new ways to build highly personalized applications for users or to change applications quickly to meet changing business needs. Miguel emphasizes that digital transformation can’t be truly successful without empowering the developers who build the applications that run the world.
Engaging customer experience, a key differentiator
The successful digital business transformation will increasingly rely on organizations’ ability to deliver great user experiences. For too long, the concept of “user experience” has been conflated with “user interface”—which represents only a fraction of the complete user experience. The user experience as a whole includes a well-designed, easy-to-use user interface backed by agile, simple, and efficient processing of all the underlying business processes. In any business application, each user action kicks off a business process.
The process, or business logic, behind the application affects how the user interacts with the application, but so do processes undertaken by employees and automated systems (e.g., databases, email, CRM, and so on). A truly great user experience, whether for customers or employees, extends from the user interface all the way through the last step of the process. By converging the technologies crucial for digital business transformation into a single, cohesive entity, digital business platforms make it easier for organizations to create great user experiences that stand out as differentiators in the market.
For success in the digital transformation era
Technology managers involved in digital business transformation will need to adopt the following priorities:
- Focus on excellence in digital user experiences for both customers and employees.
- Offer exceptional management for existing services and offerings through the application of next-generation BPM technologies (such as predictive artificial intelligence).
- Allocate more financial and development resources toward security, including consideration of how blockchain technologies might play a role.
“I have always made it a goal to bridge the gap between business needs and IT solutions. And we have kept the human element a top priority. For our customers, their developers, their business and customer users, we remain true to these core values with growth and change,” says Miguel.