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CIO50 2020 #16: Nathan Scott, Valocity Global

  • Name Nathan Scott
  • Title Chief technology officer
  • Company Valocity Global
  • Commenced role July 2016
  • Reporting Line Global CEO and founder
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Technology Function 40 staff
  • Before a lender can say yes to granting a mortgage, it must validate a property and its value. Valocity helps banks do this faster, better and more efficiently, says Nathan Scott, chief technology officer of the property valuation software provider.

    Scott says Valocity achieves this by connecting the entire ecosystem of lenders, brokers, valuers and their customers in One Smart Platform to digitise and streamline the entire property valuation process, all while staying ahead of regulatory compliance. 

    “We leverage the power of data and technology in a modular, customisable platform, with advanced analytics and human-centred design to accelerate lenders innovation with intuitive digital customer experiences,” he says.

    The most notable success for Valocity in the last two years has been creating and refining a global product, and the expansion and adoption of the Valocity in international markets. 

    Valocity is currently onboarding banks and valuation firms across India and won the Fintech Start Up of the Year at the India Fintech awards in November 2019.

    Scott says Valocity has always strived to build a world class, international business, recognising the problems they’re solving in New Zealand, Australia and India are growing frictions for banks globally.

    “With this in mind, our technology strategy is to build a modular, scalable and transportable platform with no geographical boundaries. With technology of this nature, the opportunities for growth and expansion into new markets are endless.”

    He says their continual use of agile methodology allows them to release fortnightly and deliver ongoing new functionality, enhancements, and solutions.

    “Valocity has fully embraced the ‘age of the customer’ and uses this philosophy as a road map for delivering innovative, world class products,” he says.

    The platform exists as an industry ecosystem where all participants benefit from working together.

    Scott says the company has demonstrated strategic leadership in solving a critical need for innovation in markets restricted by legacy technology and manual processes. In doing so, it has brought choice and transformational change to the property valuation industry for the first time in several territories.

    For the organisation, this has required dedication to collaboration with the team now spread across the globe in multiple squads, new technologies and development management practices have been essential to ensure teams are aligned, focused and engaged in delivering transformation to their clients, he states.

    With a cloud-based, modular design and scalable services, Valocity can quickly deploy functions to empower specific outcomes without customisation or performance constraints.

    Powering consumer websites, such as OneRoof in NZ, as easily as powering a valuation journey in a bank in India, or a data journey for a valuer in Australia is key.

    A personal stake

    “Valocity is an agile business, we move quickly and pivot fast,” states Scott.

    “We make quick calls and work together to get the desired outcomes, trusting each other’s support. With technology as a lynch pin for everything we do, I have a personal stake in all outcomes.”

    He is responsible for the timelines and deliveries of all the teams for their customers and markets. 

    As CTO of a global software provider, Scott says he needs to have a good understanding of both their technology landscape and wider industry options.

    “It is a testimony to the trust and expertise that exists within Valocity that lenders look to us for guidance beyond our products.” 

    With a recent data breach in Australia, he consulted with the banks in the market on data security practices. 

    In New Zealand, he presented to the technology team of a bank around GIS and technology services, despite the fact the bank is not a current Valocity customer.

    Valocity is a rapidly growing organisation, and delivering multiple solutions to diverse international markets.

    To ensure teams remain empowered and connected, it moved from a single research and development function to having multiple squads. Each squad operates as a fully empowered team with business and technology members. 

    “Having our teams closely aligned to our clients ensures our people remain connected to the difference they make to our customers,” says Scott. 

    The technology leadership acts as advisors and guides to the squads.

    To support the squads, Valocity invested in new roles. The company previously focused on full-stack developers, testers, and business analysts, but now supports these roles with specialists around UX, data, automation, and architecture.

    “This ensures our people have access to the skills they need while also creating new opportunities for learning and career growth,” says Scott.

    “As a company, we are open to innovation, technology and new ideas to ensure we are always fast, agile and equipped for success,” he explains.

    “Most of what Valocity does would be considered innovation in many firms, using and learning new tools and technology.”

    He says they also schedule a day each month specifically as an ‘Innovation Day’. The staff explore an issue or work on a challenge individually or as a group.

    Recently, the teams combined the ‘Innovation Day’ with a yearly day where they give back to the community.

    They called it ‘Les Love Day’, named after one of their developers who passed away the year before.

    One of Les’ passions was for solving the homeless challenge, says Scott. 

    Thus, many of the teams spent the days building a product called ‘Shelta’, which connects homeless people with available beds. 

    The lesson from all this is “technology and data present the opportunity, but it is passion and the organisation’s approach that make the difference,” he says.

    “You may not achieve a specific technology target in the way you initially expected, but success is not a measure of any specific technology outcome, rather it is a result of how you apply a series of technologies, partnerships and people.”

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