Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Nintex Xchange 2018: Democratizing Process for Digital

There are 500+ attendees at this years Xchange and they seemed very engaged with the idea that the world needs more process. While this audience might not have a digital destination in mind or even an architecture to implement, they sure are implementing processes and sneaking up on digital. I'll talk about the customer experience with Nintex at the end of this blog.

Change in Management:

It brought both joy and sorrow to see the current CEO John Burton say his goodbyes to his customers and employees as he moves on to another challenge he has yet to find. While John exits, Eric Johnson enters with a steady hand and no change in direction, even with the acquisition of Nintex by Thoma Bravo. This makes sense as Thoma Bravo does not like interfering with their companies, unlike other private equity firms who make it a habit. This is a good thing for Nintex and their clients.

Becoming Digital Glue:

While Nintex has grown rapidly by taking process to the business user as well as IT, they have another plan they are rolling out. They want to orchestrate, via process, many of the different components of end to end processes. While they propose growing incrementally in a lateral and wide fashion, I found no apparent limits on how deep their process capabilities by leveraging services, microservices and eventually autonomous agents (because of polling capabilities). I talked to several clients that had implemented large volume solutions with no performance issues, much to my surprise. Go wide and then go deep seems the strategy.

Getting More Intelligent:

Right now Nintex allows intelligence by tapping into other vendors cognitive and analytic components that can be easily snapped into a process flow. This push was to leverage intelligence in Microsoft, Google, Salesforce and IBM for more intelligence, but there were subtle hints that their analytic and dashboard capability, called Hawkeye, could be leveraged over time to provide a level of intelligence.

Getting No Code Process to Business Professionals:

The strong and driving current for Nintex is getting process to everyone, particularly business types. This is a two edged sword. It really drive the benefit of process to results in a speedy fashion, but managing the productivity storm creates its own challenges. One organization I talked with said that had so many processes, they didn't know all of them or where they were rolling out. This means that implementing best practice or even emerging better practice was hard. Another organization said that demand was so high that they had to create a prioritization process for getting the most important business benefit consistently. Another organization documented best practice and guardrails and just let the feeding frenzy commence.

Net; Net:

The productivity empowered Nintex processes is certainly worth the management headaches. Innovation and sandbox experimentation is another high level benefit. Now business users can initiate and try innovation while eliminating productivity and cost issues. There are however risks of duplication without some sort of mechanism to identify reusable process snippets, smart services and integration adapters. A little forethought and architecture wouldn't hurt and already positive situation. Long live process.