Get to know Mika Vainio-Mattila, Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Workforce

Get to know Mika Vainio-Mattila, Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Workforce

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

My most memorable achievement was supporting a client to take some very brave steps in pursuing a strategic vision for Intelligent Automation within their business, as well as convincing them that Digital Workforce was the right partner to accompany them on that journey.

Mika Vainio-Mattila, Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Workforce

Being able to work with this client throughout their automation journey has been incredibly rewarding and the experience has continued to inform and inspire new client relationships. When executed properly, intelligent automation can be personalised to each organisation’s requirements and help businesses gain a competitive advantage. The automation journey is full of benefits and being a key part of the growing success of our clients, some of whom were initially apprehensive of automation and to change such mindsets, is always memorable.

What first made you think of a career in technology?

I am a long-term advocate in the capabilities of technology to transform businesses. My international career has been spent working across technology and business services and I spent over 15 years in business consulting at IBM, where I worked with enterprises on implementing and developing their large-scale IT transformations. I believe that a strong digital infrastructure is the backbone for any business, however, I noticed that too many organisations got stuck in long-tail IT projects that failed to get off the ground and deliver on ROI. The industry was calling out for a new approach that would allow businesses to build capacity, flexibility and agility into their digital infrastructure without wasting resources.

In 2015, I met the two other co-founders at Digital Workforce and was introduced to RPA. We saw its potential to revolutionise a company’s digital efforts at a faster pace and for a fraction of the cost than ever before which I was fascinated and impressed by. The opportunities afforded by Intelligent Automation will define the future of work for years to come – it’s the next industrial revolution.

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

I believe leadership is about shared direction, trust and transparency. These values are reflected in my leadership style and is the backbone of our culture at Digital Workforce. People need to feel empowered in order to make effective decisions for the organisation to reach its goals.

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

How to release the strategic value of intelligent automation by allowing automated business processes to configure and reconfigure at high speed.

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

The need for automation is rapidly increasing and expanding across sectors and functions. The pandemic has accelerated digitisation initiatives and has become a key objective on many business agendas. This has uncovered the increasing need for businesses to implement technologies across the organisation with a clear vision rather than business divisions operating in silos. Businesses are struggling with internal skills shortages and enterprises are increasingly looking at technologies to automate processes and refocus resources.

Automation is now being introduced in front office customer service functions and we’re seeing investment in more advanced features and smart solutions to enhance the degree of intelligence offered. In addition, by incorporating technologies that go beyond RPA, there’s the potential to orchestrate even more complex business processes. For example, by working with backend systems and adding in a ‘human-in-the-loop’ functionality.

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

The best way to unwind for me is active sports, sailing being my favourite. I co-own a small sailing boat which we sail mostly just for fun but occasionally also participate in races. I also love to play tennis which I took on about three years ago.

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

I never look back and ponder where I might be or I might not be had I taken another path. I am very happy about the opportunities and challenges life has brought my way. So I have to answer I would not change a thing.

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

Europe is an incredibly rich canvas of cultures which have a great influence on the way people live, work and also assimilate new technologies. On the other hand there is also a European value system which unifies us. I would say that while the opportunities are very diverse, the challenges are mostly practical having to do with local language support to customers and regional differences in legal frameworks and business practices.

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?

My job role has seen many new facets been introduced since our IPO late last year. There are changes related to stock market regulations having to do with investor communications for example. The most rewarding change has been the need and the possibility to discuss our company’s situation and strategy with a very broad investor community.

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

The industry needs leaders who are ambitious, adaptable and innovative. My advice to aspirational leaders hoping to obtain a C-level position in intelligent automation and technology is that they should deploy these values and attributes in their leadership style and that they should have a clear vision for their organisation’s future, understanding where the opportunity for growth is and where they can make a difference for clients.

Intelligent Automation is a process that will look different in every sector and requires leaders who are able to effectively see this journey through for their chosen clients, from strategy to implementation.

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