In an interview with the COMPUTER world, Thomas Riedl, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Nagarro Austria, describes what we can take with us from 2021 for the future, explains how the corona crisis and new work are affecting us and outlines the most important IT trends for the coming year. […]
What lessons can be learned from 2021 in general and from the corona crisis in particular for the future?
The questions and points of contact with the customers have shifted noticeably. Where we used to have to argue our global smart shoring working model and explain the use of remote teams, customers now see the advantages. No one suddenly asks: does this have to be remote? The hybrid delivery model has become state-of-the-art. In the uncertain times, the connection to us as partners changed. Concerns and needs went beyond the purely technical, premium services such as consulting, methodology and frameworks have gained in importance.
In your opinion, how will the corona crisis affect the IT industry, companies and our society in the coming year?
Global, hybrid delivery models are becoming the new normal and this is increasingly also true in the service sector. For projects that are medium to large in size, in the future one will no longer think about whether they should be realized on-site. Now that it is clear that it works, this topic is off the table and is about closing the discrepancy between supply and demand. There are more digitalization and e-commerce projects than ever before. In addition, there are those projects that companies thought they could “sit out” and that they now want to tackle, as well as trends such as e-food that only emerged during the crisis.
What were your professional and personal highlights in 2021?
What motivated me the most was that the temporary freeze situation, into which some companies had retreated in the first fright, was followed by a seamless revival and even dynamization of work. I remember concrete highlights mainly from personal conversations, for example with a customer who always had very high demands and in the difficult time thought that we were exactly the kind of partner you need now. I also have a valuable memory of an employee who said that Nagarro is “a port” for him these days, because people talk openly about the situation with us. Such feedback shows that, despite all the influences to which the company was exposed, we were able to maintain our focus and, for the most part, set the right priorities.
Which topics do you think should be at the top of the agenda of IT managers in the coming year and why or which IT topics will play a particularly important role in 2022?
An important question will be: how can we realize large projects in the future? In addition to the well-known challenges such as time, budgets, key performance indicators, there is the completely new process. The work is agile, the own people are remote, the teams are distributed. In order to successfully manage projects under these conditions, you need tailored frameworks. Technologically, the topic of low code / no code is becoming more and more popular and meets with open ears. Some orchid topics such as smart glass, big data, data analytics and AI are constantly making their way. Here the fog will clear up as soon as the flood of POCs and experiments recedes. Autonomous drones could very quickly gain in importance as a resource in automation, maintenance and inspection.
“We work in an agile way, our own people are remote, the teams are distributed. In order to successfully manage projects under these conditions, you need tailored frameworks.“
The last two years have been marked by the pandemic and accelerated digitization and brought us hybrid working models. After the pandemic, the next – bigger – crisis, the climate crisis, has to be dealt with.
How do you think companies need to change in terms of sustainability? What specific measures are you/is your company planning for 2022 and beyond?
Everyone who wants to secure the future for themselves and others must deal with sustainability issues. At Nagarro, CEO and co-founder Manas Fuloria is personally very active and implements numerous projects, especially in India. He is a man of action here, supports the expansion of cycle paths, projects to improve air quality, for example, and has just started a “Navengers” program these days that motivates employees to sustainability in their everyday lives.
How well is your company or how well are Austrian companies generally positioned for new work – i.e. distributed teams, home office, hybrid working models, etc.?
As far as one can see into the future, we at Nagarro are very well positioned for hybrid teams and remote work. In order to continue working successfully with the model in the long term, we pay very empathetic attention to which currents are spreading. The remote mode is not so much the topic in terms of implementation, but rather that we know that a mindset is currently changing in the working world. There are several trends that are mixing and we are in an interim solution. This change is serious. So we constantly need “our finger on the pulse of the employees” and the awareness to be able to constantly adjust our course.
Do you think that the tense situation regarding the shortage of IT specialists will improve in the coming years? What can be done in this area?
In my opinion, the shortage of IT specialists will not improve. The demographics in Europe are set. It will also not be possible to meet the demand for digitization and software in Europe, even with sourcing solutions it will be tight. One way to alleviate the shortage is to further advance digitization in companies, intelligent automation wherever possible, and low code / no code initiatives can also play their part in solving the shortage of skilled workers.
This article is part of a series of interviews for which the COMPUTER WORLD interviewed around 50 top managers from the IT industry. You can read more interviews in the next few weeks on computerwelt.at.