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Get to know Nick Mitchell, VP of UK&I, Celonis

Get to know Nick Mitchell, VP of UK&I, Celonis

Get To KnowTop StoriesUnited Kingdom

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

As a developer I wrote the FTSE calculation system at the London Stock Exchange which was an amazing experience. And as a leader I am very proud of the development my teams have made and the work I did with Trimble where we created a new category of Mobile Resource Management and really helped customer service improve across the UK. But I truly believe that Celonis can provide me with the greatest legacy.

What first made you think of a career in technology?

It was actually my father that pushed me towards IT. He was an engineer and I was following a path of engineering at school. He saw that his specialism was being revolutionised by computers and helped me make the transition.

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

I aim to facilitate the success of each of the team members. My main priority is ensuring we have the right environment and opportunities in place for a fast-growing team to be successful; we’ve grown tremendously, to more than 2,800 people globally, with two-thirds of our employees joining the company since lockdowns and new office openings in India, Switzerland, Chicago, LA, Denver and more in the last six months. It can be tough to ensure you’re facilitating the right conditions for your team when your company is in hypergrowth and circumstances and demands are changing so rapidly. Amp it Up by Frank Slootman is a great book outlining how to effectively lead a company in such a fast-growth stage. 

What do you think has emerged as the technology trend of 2022 and why?

Process mining is at an inflection point and it’s a key capability for businesses to succeed in 2022. According to Gartner, the market will grow to US$2.3 billion by 2025, with Digital Transformation and the increased need for visibility into processes being the main drivers of this increase. With process mining and execution management, you can ‘X-ray’ a company’s entire business operation, revealing these silent killers of performance across systems, processes and people and then fix them automatically, starting with the most impactful ones. This is critical today when the average company runs its processes over hundreds of systems that don’t play nice together. Complexity builds up over time and incubates hidden inefficiencies across processes, people and technology.

It’s a similar story in the supply chain where the pandemic, the war in Europe and increasing sustainability demands are forcing companies to rethink how they move goods and services around the world. Organisations need comprehensive, objective visibility of their processes if they want to create resilient, effective supply chains. Process mining can deliver that.

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?

Enterprises have invested billions in Digital Transformation but are not seeing the RoI and that’s due to these old, complex, fragmented systems where data is stuck and siloed, not providing any useful insights. These companies do not have granular insight into what actually needs fixing and therefore cannot address the real root causes of the issues.

Companies are realising that in order to get value from the complex systems already in place in their organisations, they need process mining to break up silos and make sense of data stuck in underlying systems. Process mining is becoming an integral part of every company looking to thrive in this new era.

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?

I exercise as much as I can. My dogs help ensure that I have a decent walk regularly but I also use the gym in my garage. I work part-time for Mind, the mental health charity. Being kind to others is a great stress reliever and it also helps develop my listening and empathy skills. Finally, I am aware of my extrovert nature so, coming out of lockdown, I have had to ensure I boost my energy by spending time with friends and family. 

If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?

I am very proud of my career and the relationships I have built throughout it, but have I fulfilled my full potential? I feel if I had got myself a mentor/coach at a younger age then I would have grown confidence to do more, get outside my comfort zone and exploit my skills.

What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?

There are two key changes that are needed to better implement new technologies in Europe. Firstly, governments across Europe must do more to promote the tech ecosystem. This means making more capital available, providing better education and widely promoting the use of innovative startups within governments themselves.

Secondly, we need to see a shift in the entrepreneurial mindset and develop a more risk-oriented culture like in Silicon Valley. In many cases, European tech products are just as good as – if not better than – those from existing Silicon Valley ventures. The problem is that we just don’t say it. European tech entrepreneurs must think bigger and bolder to successfully compete against the US giants.

What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?

The last couple of years have been extremely difficult for UK businesses and consumers alike and drastic change is needed to be able to move forward.

There is ever more pressure on individuals and businesses and the drive to improve requires change and determination but balancing this with empathy for conditions that people are experiencing is critical for success. 

My role needs to adapt to and understand these changes because our customers are also facing them, and as a result, I need to come up with innovative and thoughtful ways to get around them. With more efficient processes we should also be reducing the stress on businesses and individuals. 

What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?

As with any industry, building and supporting your team is one of the most important aspects. At Celonis, we continue to rapidly grow and add new talent across all departments and geographies, with our numbers doubling during the pandemic.

Along with building a strong internal team, relationship-building outside of your organisation is extremely important. Creating strong partnerships is critical to success.

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