Piotr Biernacki, business director in Ideo Solutions AS - Norwegian branch of Ideo Software House:
- We can safely say that the Internet, and all the possibilities the network entails, has reached a mature stage. It is no longer useful to serve average solutions to increasingly demanding customers, whether it concerns online sales or online services. Thus, it is not enough to “be a bit” about page design and programming. In the process that has taken place over the last 20 years, several “Internet wizards” have finished their activity, while others have made an important progress. What really is this about?
There are many items that need to be folded before successful Internet services can be achieved - says Piotr. An important keyword is the correct product design and customization of the products, and then there are some elements that one must understand. Firstly, the IT field has become so dynamic that even for the largest players - it is barely possible to have all the skills at the house. If you want to stay ahead of the development, you must usually associate external partners who are really dedicated to the tasks that will be carried out. And what we offer is not only a labour, but also a knowledge of the tools and methods that can be used to succeed, he says.
Another important element is that many projects require rapid upscaling - continues Piotr. To keep a competitive edge, or to give discerning customers what they expect online, someone is trying to build and hire teams who will do this at house. This is almost without exception a bad economy, and the team will almost inevitably slow down as time passes. Large companies who exclusively work with such solutions will make this much more effective.
Flexibility is the solution
Ideo Solutions AS offers local Norwegian consultancy, concept development and project management, and most of the services - the actual production - provided by Ideo Solutions AS to Norwegian customers come from the Polish Software House.
Many people associate Poland with affordable labour, and this is certainly the competitive advantage?
Both yes and no, says Piotr. That lower labour costs make us affordable, of course, it is an advantage, but that is not what is our greatest strength. I would say that the competence and flexibility is the most important. No matter what solutions you want, we can deliver them. The company’s IT team at house can concentrate on the important issues, and then we will design and implement them. If you suddenly need to triple the capacity of a network service, or change it in total, we’ll fix it quickly. You need maintenance or backup? People and machines are ready to solve the tasks.
The “IT-workshops” come
Piotr believes that this trend will only increase over time. IT departments in companies are not getting smaller, as the services only increase in scope anyway. But he is sure that the development forces new ways to think about: - Let’s say your business has a five-vehicle fleet. Would you in any case have considered establishing a separate workshop to repair and maintain the cars? Of course not! Because even if you know that Norwegian workshops are expensive, it would cost you much more to do this at house. This is also the case with the vast majority of Internet solutions, says Piotr.
And like in a garage, good tools are more than half of the job. But there is one big difference between the mechanic and the IT experts: - Whether there are clean web pages, mobile applications or bespoke applications, the contact between the customer and us must work smoothly. This is so essential that we often spend several days or weeks in training and meetings; Not only to achieve effective communication and good practices, but also to get to know those with whom we will work together. Good cooperation is very often found in a good environment between people, says Piotr.
He also indicates - of course - that not all IT people have the same knowledge and that they use different platforms. This is also something we need to take into account when finding the right people for a specific job - although we often recommend using a person with a broad experience rather than a specialist.
The world is getting smaller, but …
Today, no one is surprised that a company has offices that work seamlessly across several continents, as if they were going next door. Yet, Piotr believes that it is necessary to adapt to cultures, and it concerns both online messages and collaboration between Ideo Software and its clients.
It is not particularly about the differences between Norway and Poland, because it is not as big as many believe. It is rather that people and businesses are different, and that’s why we place so much emphasis on the interaction between people who will work together. At the same time, it is very easy for our developers to come to our customers and complete start-up meetings. Then we also get the opportunity to teach us the “genetics” in their business culture.
We are melting together, and cultural differences are being wiped out. Cooperation between Norway and China work smoothly. But Norway and Poland? I see that this connection is working better day by day. And a successful project often becomes the start of a new one with the same customer.