The Call For Leaders interview series reached its third phase, with the established 3Q format having received a revamp for 2021. The original Call For Leaders 3Q and its sequel, Call For Leaders – Back in Business, have seen us talking to quite a diverse roster of business leaders in Romania, representing top companies and various industries. Claudiu Constantinescu, Regional Manager Central Europe at Endava, answered the #Call4Leaders and what resulted was a very insightful conversation.
After a difficult 2020 year, how do you think business optimism will be influenced in 2021?
I believe that even with the virus now somewhat under control, the disruption it has triggered in businesses will flow well into the next few years and not just 2021. Many changes that have started last year will not be undone. This is simply because many of them are accelerated evolutions – we are effectively building a “new normal” characterized by more digitization, less non-essential people movements, a general focus on efficiency, better healthcare, and several other things. All these have started last year with a bit of a shock and continue now in a much more organized manner.
We learned a lot during these months, and the entire business environment has evolved tremendously. New strategies, more adaptability and a lot of innovation have already been deployed. This is the business response, and you have certainly noticed that although the second wave of the pandemic was significantly worse than the first one, and we seem to be heading into a third wave, the impact is now absorbed by the markets with less panic. It is now part of the plan – companies have adapted to a new BAU (Business As Usual).
How will your company be involved in the development of your industry, and also in the recovery of other sectors which were affected by the pandemic?
Since almost all businesses are now embedded with technology, we can really make a significant impact.
One driver is our digital acceleration offer – for which we have seen increasing demand. Digital has been at our core for many years, and we are targeting beyond IT and tech. The whole organization is in scope. We look at business processes, financial budgeting, portfolio prioritizing and down to the teams and support functions running the operations on the ground. The client organization evolves more adaptable, which is key in the current context.
Another way we help businesses is by automation and agile processes: testing, continuous integration, continuous deployment, as well as automating business processes, starting from the functional level (BPM – Business Process Modeling) and taking it to the task level (RPA – Robot Process Automation) using various tools and platforms. This removes many of the repetitive and human error-prone tasks, optimizes processes and creates efficiencies.
In a time of high disruption, our aim is to help organizations respond faster and better and reimagine the relationships between people and technology. We believe this will speed up the evolution past the pandemic and its effects.
How will you approach innovation and new investments in 2021?
On the technology side, Endava possesses significant intellectual property, embodied in our knowhow and reusable assets.
One type of our IP (Intellectual Property) is our “accelerators”. These are reusable project delivery assets, such as software libraries and reusable project templates, that allow us to deliver a client engagement more quickly and at less risk than from scratch. We develop our accelerators in response to repeated demand for our projects, so they are practical tools to accelerate our clients’ success by packaging our hard-won experience. The accelerators reduce the time required for service delivery. In many cases, the accelerator’s guidance allows us to staff projects with less experienced staff than would otherwise be the case. Some of the recently developed accelerators are reusable components for payments systems, testing frameworks, and programming frameworks for data engineering projects. A recent example of using an accelerator on a project was applying our InTest testing framework on a payments project for a UK public sector solutions provider. The accelerator’s use allowed us to build automated tests for their platform rapidly, and cost-effectively increase API test coverage to 100%.
We foster innovation at many different levels, and all of them are very important for the evolution of our organization and for the success of our client’s businesses.
At Endava, we believe in continuous improvement (our people), we allocate specific budgets and have dedicated internal structures, ensuring we do our best in this area. Three main directions are targeted: business verticals (functional skills), technical excellence, and soft skills. We have effectively intensified the training programs during 2020 and intend to continue in 2021 – it is a time of re-set and re-focus across the industry.
Our partnership with the local universities and tech communities from the cities we operate in is a different innovation dimension. Here we are supporting programs such as “Innovation Labs” initiatives, hackathons and “Code for” – that are responding specific needs of the cities we are present in. These are developed with a double focus: an idea that is evolved into a project for a business and social need and the opportunity to explore the practicality of new technologies and paradigms. Also, through these partnerships, we teach specific classes or have guest presentations and workshops on the hot tech topics of the day. And it is our pride to be able to give back to the communities where Endava is present.