Thoughts On The Intelligent Sourcing Interview With IBA Group CEO, Sergei Levteev

February 19, 2024  |  Mark Hillary

I’ve been contributing comment on IT, and how technology is shaping modern business, on this IBA Group Blog for many years now, so I have often had the chance to interact with the IBA CEO Sergei Levteev. Most recently, I talked to Sergei and wrote about our conversation for Intelligent Sourcing magazine.

You can find the interview here, but I thought it would be interesting to follow up and share my views on some of his comments and thoughts from the interview — a kind of follow-up from that discussion.

One of the first questions I asked Sergei was around specialization. Some IT companies focus on a single type of service — cloud specialists are a good example. IBA has a relatively wide array of expertise in several areas. I asked Sergei if this creates an advantage, and he said: “If you remember the computers and technologies we used in the 1990s, you understand that today we live in an entirely different world. In addition, it is a common situation when clients face not only one problem, but also a set of problems, and we are able to offer multiple solutions to their challenges with the use of different technologies.”

I think this is a valid point. Maybe looking back to the nineties is looking too far into history, but the underlying point is that most companies have complex supply chains and their ideal technology solution will cut across several areas. If a technology specialist can advise on automation, security, and the cloud within a single project, then this can create an advantage.

I asked Sergei why companies are not using much of the data they already have, and he said: “I agree that many companies have valuable data that they are not exploring. This is not because they don’t want to use the data. The problem is that the data is not ready to be explored. Using the best practices, we help our clients become familiar with their data and transform the data to valuable information.”

This is an important point. Every company has data. Many are swamped with data. There is so much data being recorded that they don’t know how to create any insight. The process of turning data into information is the first step towards being able to analyze it for trends and insights. As customers expect more and more personalization from companies, this is becoming critically important.

Sergei also talked about security and how this has changed for most companies since the Covid pandemic. He said: “The pandemic forced many of us to look at security issues in a new way. The companies that were not related to IT had to transfer their business online, and thus became more vulnerable to cyberattacks. As remote work infrastructure did not have the same level of security as the office environment, businesses had to invest in network security to prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, and malware infections. Therefore, the pandemic gave momentum to the development of security technologies.”

This is another important point. Most office-based employees knew their data was secure inside the office, and they very rarely needed to access systems remotely. Now, working from home and hybrid work has meant that it is normal to have access to systems from multiple locations — a large company may have thousands of people in many countries now accessing their data. An entirely new form of data security has been created in just the past few years alone.

As the full interview suggests, Sergei has a lot to say about IT and innovation, but when I asked him which industry he sees using IT for the fastest innovation in 2024, he gave his most succinct answer — and it is a good way to summarize the entire interview. He said: “Practically, all industries will be using IT to innovate in 2024. Otherwise, they will not be competitive. IT is already a matter of survival.”

IT is already a matter for survival. Get this wrong and your company may not live to see 2030. Sergei gave some great insights, and I really appreciated the chance to talk about IT strategy with him — I hope we can do it again later this year!

For a complete list of industries covered and supported technologies, please visit the IBA Group website here.

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