Road Report: Subtlety of Synonyms in Business at OPEX Financial Services

OPEX Financial Services

I am a word junkie, so when Dave Castellani, Business Information Officer at New York Life, started talking about the differences between speed and velocity during his OPEX Financial Services keynote my ears perked up. In business, we use many words interchangeably so much so that we lose track of the true meaning (e.g. productivity and efficiency or Internet and Web).

In his keynote The speed of change: New York Life’s approach to aligning process improvement, operational efficiency and technology, Dave describes speed and velocity:

Speed and Velocity

According to Dave, “We want velocity, as this is real change!” No doubt that velocity with speed is even better. We also know there are enemies to these pursuits — gravity, friction, and drag. In organizations, Dave highlights areas such as lack of alignment, time and budget, and failure to know the customer as the culprits.

At TrackVia, we’re helping companies increase velocity in their businesses by digitizing manual processes and workflows — even one use case at a time.

This was the theme of Josh Yaklin’s presentation on How Small Digitization Projects Add Up to Big Wins. Josh is the VP of Data, Analytics and Risk for Stearns Lending and has used TrackVia to digitize more than 35 use cases in less than 18 months. Stearns’ operations are now faster, more accurate and cost-effective — driving an increase in business velocity. Check out Kimberly Dornisch’s awesome real-time pictograph of Josh’s presentation.

Dave outlined a couple of enemies of digitization. The first is starting with a tool-led discussion when it comes to digitization. In operations, it’s important to look at the processes first. How do processes work today? Where can or should they be improved? This prevents you from, among other things, deciding on using a point solution for one or two use cases. Many companies are considering low-code platforms like TrackVia that can be used for multiple use cases; just ask Josh about his 35.

The second enemy is lack of alignment between The Business and Technology; I couldn’t agree more. That’s why TrackVia helps companies build applications that are “business led, IT approved.” This empowers the people who know the data and process the best to define, build and manage the applications. And, IT approves the application platform for security, compliance, availability, and other governance requirements.

In business, we all want greater velocity. Whether it’s manual processes (e.g. spreadsheets, paper, emails) or lack of alignment between Ops and IT, let’s help each other find ways to eliminate them. Plus, I’d love to understand the difference between workflow and process. If you have an opinion on that, let me know! Else, I’ll put it on the agenda for OPEX Financial Services 2020.

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