#tech_talks: CEO of Softeq: technology is a byproduct of talent

Technorama 2021 | 2021-05-27

USA-based company Softeq Development (Softeq) operates a universal programming center in Lithuania. This year company has joined sponsors of Technorama 2021.  Copany established money prize of 1,000 euros for the most innovative idea, presented in tech exhibition. Moreover,  during the opening ceremony, on May 28, the audience will hear the presentation from Houston, which Chris Howard, Softeq Founder, and CEO, will deliver.

The interview with CEO of Chris Howard can be found bellow:

  1. Chris Howard, CEO of Softeq

    What value do you see for a company joining a competition like Technorama?

Softeq has elevated Innovation to be one of our company’s Core Values. In 2020, we established the Softeq Innovation Lab in collaboration with MIT and Boundless. In addition, we operate Softeq Academy inside the company and established a Competence Center for Computer Vision and Machine Learning. Thus, we appreciate the opportunity to find like-minded talents and potential partners. Also, we are new to the Lithuanian market and would like to improve our brand visibility here. We have valuable expertise to share and think that joining the event will bring value both to the participants and to Softeq.

  1. Tell us about the specifics of your company: what activities do you do in Lithuania and how / does it differ from the functions of other divisions?

Established in 1997, Softeq initially focused on technical software (hence, the company name), and gradually grew to offer full-cycle engineering services ranging from programming on the driver and OS level to building complex end-to-end ecosystems, including IoT solutions. In 2008, the company expanded its presence globally by opening a development center in Minsk, Belarus. Softeq firmly established itself in Europe after acquiring NearShore Solutions GmbH and opening an office in Munich, Germany. In November 2020, the company opened the Softeq Innovation Lab to help global enterprise intrapreneurs discover and develop early-stage transformational business ideas powered by technology.

“Softeq helps clients make the transition to digital across an entire spectrum from early-stage ideation in our Innovation Lab to end-to-end engineering services provided by our growing development centers. Our new development center in Vilnius will support building complex solutions involving innovative new software, applications, cloud back-ends, firmware, and hardware all under one roof.

  1. This year, Technorama is celebrating its twentieth anniversary, and since then, innovation has changed dramatically. How would you rate change in the industry in which you operate? What trends were there then, and how has that changed? Why?

The pace of innovation has accelerated faster than ever, as we all know, but the pace of disruption for established companies in every vertical has increased dramatically in the past 10 years. We have entered the Disruption 2.0 Era where it’s not about making a dent in an existing business, it’s about re-defining the vertical itself. Finance, Healthcare, Retail giants have fallen, and rapidly adapting unicorn startups have emerged in their place. Innovation is now existential, but not all companies who innovate are innovative. Today more than ever, companies have a choice: Be a leader in innovation or be eclipsed by it.

While in the past you could get innovation right by getting 1 thing right, today companies need to get 3 key things right:

1) It must master managing a portfolio of innovation. Innovation is the result of an optimized portfolio of innovation experiments, not a single bet. Companies must focus on outcomes not ideas. They must balance continuously innovating their core business while exploring blue ocean opportunities.

2) Innovate from the outside-in. Gone are the days of myopic corporate innovation labs, innovation summits, and keynotes. Innovation is a contact sport and companies need to tap into the smartest minds outside their organization to survive.

3) Earthshots over Moonshots. Whether energizing an existing business or pursuing opportunities that open markets, companies today need to leverage technologies that have impactful ROI, not science fiction.

  1. Future perspectives – what do you think (or perhaps you can draw from experience) – what trends in the field you represent will become increasingly important in the future?

While the world is fascinated by technology and technology trends, it’s the ability to retain top talent that will be THE most important trend to the future success of every business. Technologies and economic cycles come and go, but as the global pandemic has taught us, talent is now digital and fluid. Society as a whole is facing a new normal and every business must adapt its practices if they are going to be a home to top talent.  Talent is existential, technology is a byproduct of talent.