Florian Gamper on working agile: “There is no finishing point”

In February, Florian Gamper, a freelance CTO and agile evangelist and coach will be speaking at Leaders in Tech | Berlin. The talk is titled “Working Agile – not dead, but badly misunderstood!” and grows out of Florian’s experience, first as a coder and in game development, and then working in business software and helping companies with digital transformation. Based on his experience in consulting and serving as a freelance CTO in many different companies, building new ventures and helping existing companies optimise their processes, he brings a wealth of experience on how agile works (and doesn’t work) in different contexts and environments. In his talk, he’ll share some of the recurring pitfalls and issues he’s encountered in transforming and supporting agile teams.
 
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
 
Where did the idea for your talk come from?
In agility, there’s a huge educational problem. People buy a product and then they think they’re agile. Agility is a mindset, and you cannot buy a mindset. You have to experience stuff. Every good agile project is different. People try to adapt it to environments that are different and wonder why it’s not working. It’s a bit like you buy an electric car and you wonder why in the desert you’re not going anywhere because there’s no infrastructure for it. 
 
What’s a common misconception or mis-implementation?
For example, there are scrum masters who say, “If you’re not doing scrum by the book, it’s not worth it.” Look at what scrum does as one of the agile frameworks: scrum at the end has a meeting that’s called the “retro” [retrospective]. The idea of a retro is to find out what in your current process is not working for you and to change it. How can I do a job by the book, if the last meeting is to change it? It’s not possible! You need someone who asks:

What can we do differently?
How can we change it so that the idea of what we should do is preserved and done?
If I’m not doing it, what am I trading away?

You have to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You have to re-evaluate the process over and over. You will never be ready with getting agile, never. There is no finishing point. You cannot implement and say, “we’re done, we’re now agile and everything’s done.”
 
When did you first encounter a real transformation in how a company worked?
My first company was a very command-and-control company where I worked and where I wrote my thesis. The second company I was in, had consultants come in to help them build a new process because they realised the old way wasn’t working. The good thing there was that the consultant who implemented that process stayed afterwards to do it. He knew it all, and it was not just “look here’s the PowerPoint and now we go away” situation.
 
What is one thing that people miss when they try to teach agile?
The agile mindset transforms you, but you have to experience it. I can tell you all about agility, you can still say, that’s one opinion of the world. Someone else will tell you that waterfall is the best thing since sliced bread. These are all opinions. To change your mindset, you have to feel it. You have to do a project with me where we work that way, where you say: “This thing was actually working that much better than before. I did all the other stuff. I want to do that again and again and again and again. This is how you get a mindset into someone. I think it cannot be taught. It can be told, but you have to experience it, to inherit it.
 
What distinguishes your philosophy or mindset as a leader? 
In IT, there are a lot of people with intrinsic motivation. If you see them leave, it’s often not because of money, but that their needs – in terms of what they want to achieve – are not fulfilled, or they don’t see that they could thrive here or come to their best. You have people that want to climb the ladder. You have people that want to build good products. You have to find a way in a team to balance that, so that everyone can have a share of this. Then you get great outcomes for the company. You have to align that a bit, move it a bit, channel it a bit, but then you can get great outcomes. 
 
But it has a lot to do with the culture you bring in and you live. For example, if my team works late, I work late too, even if I can’t contribute. They probably have to work late because I made an error, so I stay. That, for example, makes a big difference. Also my background is engineering, and I code also as a consultant sometimes, just to know what their problems are. 
 
Every one of us is different and has another idea how [leadership] works. But if you look at the ones that are really successful, there’s always this guy that is relatable, not just in his ivory tower who comes down to spread the knowledge. I’m good at what I do, and I still can code, so I can have a proper discussion on tech. That gives me another reputation than just being the guy that counts the numbers and says: “this is your new salary.”
 
Who are you directing your talk to? What kind of person would you like to come, and what kind of questions should they have in mind?
The talk is about examples of how I tackle problems I’ve faced. The first bit is origins, because most people don’t know what agile originally wanted to tackle. What is the thing that it wanted to solve? Why was it invented? Even in leadership, or especially in leadership, if you don’t come from an engineering background, but a management background you may never experienced working that way.
 
Seeing that other people handle stuff the same way as you do, gives you an idea if you’re on the right track. Doing stuff differently and seeing how other people relate to problems gives you a new perspective. Telling stories from what I have experienced and how I solved it, gives the new [managers] a look into, “Okay I’m on the right track.” The ones who are experienced, they can say “This is another approach I can try.” And the ones that are super experienced, can also learn that “I’ve done this and it worked out – or not.” This is a discussion I can have with them afterwards, which gives me some feedback from other people trying to solve the same problem. There’s also something for me, I’m not just there to spread my knowledge, I want to learn too!
 
To learn more about fostering agility both in engineering teams and their surrounding organisations from Florian, come to see his talk at Leaders in Tech | Berlin on Wednesday February 12th, 2020. Contact [email protected] for more details.

„The role of the leader is to suck out the poison from the system“

 
In December, Csaba Tamas, principle solutions architect at AWS will be speaking at Leaders in Tech | Berlin. The talk “Cultural ingredients of high performance, innovative teams” will bring together Csaba’s experience starting his own company, working in the finance sector (both Mittelstand and in startups), and now at Amazon. Based on this real-world experience and a robust theoretical framework on motivation, Csaba will share why it’s crucial for leaders to rethink how to build and scale organisations. In particular, for technology companies and knowledge workers, what does agility and flexibility look like? How can organisations structure themselves to provide autonomy to teams, without descending into anarchy and losing focus? 
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
 
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be where you are now.
I started my professional career as an anchorman on Hungarian national television, but very quickly switched into computing, which was my other love and hobby. I started building digital television studios in early 2001-2002. Digitising analog studios had a huge advantage for companies because they could reduce their studio costs from literally millions to hundreds of thousands. I then created a small company but I burned through all of my money in one and a half years. I was this tech guy who had great ideas in his garage (actually it was in the attic) but had no clue on how to sell it, how to position it, how to do marketing, how to do communication, PR, anything like that.
This was the reason why I teamed up with a guy who sold physical security for banks. He had relationships with banks, but he didn’t have the knowledge or know-how for the IT security part. During this cooperation we got to know an Austrian company of banking and service automation. Eventually the Austrian company said they would like to start a subsidiary in Romania with us. This was a company where I needed to learn to trick a lot of the system to deliver the service levels which banks were used to getting from bigger enterprises with hundreds or thousands of employees. We needed to be very efficient all the time. We couldn’t have any waste because we were only a few people.
 
When did you get interested in how organisations are structured and can transform themselves?
[The Austrian banking company] invited me to become part of the management in Austria and guide them through a so-called digital transformation. At that time, I approached it in a somewhat technocratic way, more from the process point of view. I knew how a well-oiled Swiss clock should work, so this was the original idea. I thought that in a few months I will just reorganise them, and I will show them how to deliver more with less. This turned out to be a three-and-a-half-year very hard-learned lesson for me. It was also a very hard time, understanding a lot about human nature and human psychology, about how much people are influenced not just by the facts, but also by fears, their impressions and their emotional side.
By definition I’m more driven by facts than by emotions but on the other side I needed to understand how to persuade people to change old habits and the old guard to give up some things. I did an MBA in Romania and the most interesting classes where around organisational behavior, organisational design, so the human aspect of business. It also opened my eyes in the direction of Simon Sinek or Daniel Pink.
 
You talked about the acronym VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. What can you tell me about these types of environments and the types of teams that are working in them?
The type of work in digital innovation is not very repeatable, it’s not very predictable. We have a lot of companies who try to be agile, who try to be fast moving reacting to the customer needs. They’re still applying a lot of old-world reactions or muscle memories on how they should structure teams, how they should manage teams, how they should lead teams, how teams are motivated, or what motivates teams. In this new world, nothing is really fixed, no two days are comparable. Every day you do something different. How can you build an organisation and how can you scale an organisation in a way that you become successful? 
 
What is an example of these old-fashioned team structures?
We can look a little bit at how different companies are achieving success and see it also through the cultures of these different companies. Looking at this Austrian Mittelstand company, these kinds of companies are very strict and very hierarchical. You always need to request or ask for permission to make a decision and move something forward in the organisation.
At the same time what we see at Amazon is a concept of two-way door decisions and one-way door decisions. What the management says: the majority of decisions are two-way door decisions, meaning that you open the door, you make the decision. It’s like you opened the door and you cross the door and you look in the other room. If you like the result, you stay there. If you don’t like the result there, you just turn around and you come back right. 
There are some decisions of which you cannot turn back. For example, if you make a PR mistake, that’s super hard to be turned around. This is typically is a one-door decision. The organisation says whatever decision is a two-way door decision, it’s yours to make. This gives a lot of agility and edge to the organisation, because each and every employee can decide.
 
What about motivating people? How do companies differ in this area?
Daniel Pink in Motivation 2.0 says that in order to have motivated people, you have to have three major cornerstones defined: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. You give autonomy for decisions. For your employees, you give them a reason, you give them a vision, you give them a direction where to go: that would be purpose. Mastery is the skills which have to be there, and you need to scale up your people. Only when these three things are altogether, can you have a team which is really performing well. If you just have the skills and you have the autonomy, but there is no purpose, there are false starts. People are frustrated because they don’t understand the direction. 
We see this very frequently in startups and not just startup organisations, also in Mittelstand and enterprise companies where the C-level somehow locks themselves into an ivory tower and forget to communicate the vision to the rest of the departments. Then they are wondering why people are not behind their decisions.
 
Why is this important? What is the sort of greater social context that this is taking place in?
For me the starting point is that the complexity of our businesses is growing. By having higher complexity, there is no one person who can oversee everything and who can follow up on everything. The role of the C-level is no longer the all-knowing sage who receives all the input data and calls all the shots. Because this would definitely slow down the organisation just by the simple fact that you need thousands of decisions to be made every day. What you need to do to enable an organisation to evolve quickly is to give them the ability to make decisions by themselves.
 
How does this fit into your own personal journey as a leader and a manager?
When I went to this Austrian company, I told my wife in the first year that I was so frustrated. It’s five o’clock now and I couldn’t work yet. I just had meetings and I was just speaking to people — nothing useful. I did nothing useful! She said, “Have you considered that from now on this is your job? To align with people and help unlock the bottlenecks they have?”
This resonated a lot because a few years back, my organisational design and behavior professor said that the role of the leader is to suck out the poison from the system. At that time I kind of understood, but not really. It really took me some time, some years later, when it started to make sense. People, when they interact, people, when they have different motivations, especially when organizations are bigger and especially if performance and meritocracy are not in place, and it’s not clear what good looks, then there is a lot of poison in there.
 
Are there any other thoughts you’d like to include for people considering coming to the talk?
Any type of leader who is in the tech business and are wondering how they could inspire their colleagues to succeed together, how they can improve the togetherness, how they can create glue in their teams to create this feeling of belonging, to create this feeling we are one family, we are marching towards one goal and to have people who a bunch of people who believe the same things and they move mountains. How do you unlock the potential in the good intentions of people, and how you can transform your organisation into a better performing organisation at the end of the day. This is the story of creating a cult, creating a culture in your company of performance, a culture of belonging, a culture of changing the world together.
 
Learn more about building innovative technology teams and structuring for uncertainty from Csaba, join Leaders in Tech | Berlin on Wednesday December 11th, 2019.  To join contact [email protected]
 

Tim Duckett: “Sometimes you get a team of people who just seem to be all square edges and corners”

In August, Tim Duckett, CTO at finleap will be speaking at Leaders in Tech | Berlin. His talk “Hacking Power and Politics – A Tech Leader’s Framework” will tackle how technology leaders can frame their challenges aligning culture, habits, and teams. He’ll share ideas from social psychology and organizational behavior and how technologists used to linear structures can apply them successfully.
I interviewed Tim about his journey from electronics engineer to software consultant to MBA to CTO of a fintech company builder, and how it’s informed how he thinks about power and politics and people.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be where you are now.
My background is software engineering, predominantly, although I came to it by a fairly weird route. I started life as an electronics engineer, so it was all about the hardware, and fell into software development by accident. I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time in consultancy and building and designing things for people. I’ve always had a hybrid role of sitting between the business side of things and the development side of things. At finleap, most of my time is split between recruiting teams that build ventures and working on the early MVP stages of ventures themselves. That split between that varies depending on where in the cycle we are.
Why is going from software engineering to leader or a manager so difficult?
Ultimately, when you dig down far enough, software is binary. When you pull that back up into higher levels, it’s very consistent: if you do certain things, then certain results will happen.
The problem is, as soon as you start applying that to people, it just goes horribly wrong, because people are non-linear. When you get to the stage of your career where you are managing people as a software engineer, you actually have to get people to do things. You find all your tools and models that you have from the software engineering world are useless because people are completely non-linear. 
This is where a lot of people struggle. They try to apply the same kind of linear thinking that they have in the software engineering that has got them to be very successful in that world to get people to try and do things. It goes horribly wrong and they really struggle. 
Is there a framework that helps tech leaders change from this linear thinking to a more nuanced way of understanding this human power relationships?
Let’s get away from the stereotypes of power being just shouting at people and threatening them with a big stick. What does that mean? How is it that some people or organisations manage to get shit done? 
They get shit done by understanding politics. And politics is like applied power. There’s a kind of cliché:

Physics is applied math.
Chemistry is applied physics.
Biology is applied chemistry.
And psychology is like practical applied biology.

There’s an XKCD cartoon of this, and the punchline is that the mathematician is way over on one side, “Hey guys we’re over here!” because math underpins everything.  

https://xkcd.com/435/
Sometimes you get a team of people who seem to be all square edges and corners and they just bash together. If you don’t have any knowledge of what drives and motivates people, if you have no models you can use to figure out what the hell is going on, all you can do is try things at random. It’s so much more efficient and effective if you can try and figure out that maybe this person is more motivated by being seen as the expert within the team than they are with responsibility or monetary rewards.
Are there any particular experiences that you can pinpoint, that have shaped how you think about these relationships and these dynamics within software engineering organizations?
There are a few occasions I can look back on where I got comprehensively outmaneuvered by somebody. I thought I’d won, whatever winning means in that situation. You know that saying “You win the battle but you lose the war”? That’s happened a couple times.
In one particular situation, I thought I had got my way on something, and then six months later I find I completely shafted myself by taking that particular tactic. I failed to understand the political relationship. I won the technical argument: the organization ended up doing something the way I wanted it to be done. About three-four months down the line when performance review time came along, I realized the person I had beaten had a really close relationship with the person who signed off on my performance review. Instead of my performance review being about what a wonderful job I’d done on delivering this really hard project, it was all about how I’d really upset someone three months earlier.
Are there any other thoughts you’d like to include for people considering coming to the talk?
Hopefully what’s come across in the teasers and the summary: this won’t be really dull or dry psychology research. What I’m hoping for is that there are two or three things you can take away and use tomorrow, make it practical. 
It’s not a grand unified theory of everything. It’s not going to be a transform your life overnight so you’ll bounce back into the office tomorrow morning a completely different person. If you can hear one or two of the stories where I completely fucked things up, get a nice bit of schadenfreude out of it, then make your life a bit better by not fucking up in the same ways, then my task here is complete.
 
To learn more about the frameworks around hacking power and politics that Tim has to share, join Leaders in Tech | Berlin on Wednesday August 14th, 2019: 
 

Austin Fraser 2018 Berlin Tech Salary Benchmark

Austin Fraser 2018 Berlin Tech Salary Benchmark
Austin Fraser, Tech recruitment leader, release its salary benchmark for Tech sector jobs in Berlin, Germany.
Do you know how much you could be making?
We recognise that salary is an important factor when choosing a new role or considering how much your talent, skill and knowledge is worth. While the market is still quite guarded about openly sharing salary information, we’re pleased to release our benchmark salaries available on the market for Junior through to Lead positions, within DevOps, Frontend, PHP and Java/Node.
Use our Berlin salary information to benchmark yourself against your peers, help compare the job market, or even use as a tool to inform pay negotiations and discover your worth.

Technology is evolving quickly and there is a big demand for skilled Tech talent to help deliver the new digital landscape. Businesses need to act fast to stay competitive and companies need the right candidates to keep growing. Technology recruitment is our specialism. We understand the market inside out and can help support your job seeking journey from start to finish.

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200
Celebrations are set to take place across all Austin Fraser offices, following our second consecutive placement in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. 2018 sees us come in at 20th in the ninth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.
 
Growing our international presence
How have we achieved this? In the qualifying two year period, we’ve seen exponential international growth, with revenue rocketing up over 115%. Global locations have doubled in the past 18 months, too, opening offices in Berlin, Denver and Dallas. And we have more ambitious plans for Europe and the US in place.
 
Strategic leadership
As many of you will have seen in the media, earlier this year, we announced a significantly expanded leadership team, with the aim to propel Austin Fraser’s organisation’s global growth. At the same time, the business has been developing deeper relationships across our specialist sectors across Technology, Automation, Aviation and Life Sciences industries
 
Strengthening our culture
International growth comes with its own set of challenges. So we were delighted to see other regional players like the Bullit Group and Westcoast in the league table.
We’re a people-led business to our core and have nurtured a culture that supports, fosters and rewards success. As a recruitment partner, our teams are genuinely motivated by a core desire to ensure both our clients’ and candidates’ success. We couldn’t be prouder of every team member for making this happen and look forward to celebrating and thanking everyone in person.

Next stop, Dallas: consolidating Austin Fraser’s US presence

Next stop, Dallas: consolidating Austin Fraser’s US presence
We’re delighted to announce our next new office opening in Dallas, Texas, scheduled for October 2018. This move will anchor Austin Fraser deeper in the US market, hot on the heels of our award-winning Austin, Texas office and Denver, at the start of the year.
We’d also like to congratulate Dallas team lead, Alina Brovko, who will relocate from Munich to build the new Dallas team and roll-out our growth plans.  Alina is a brilliant example of the career pathways available at Austin Fraser and our strong ethos of fostering talent from within.
 
How we evolve on the ground
As the fourth biggest technology market in the US, outside New York, LA and Chicago, and a concentration of established Austin Fraser clients located in the city, Dallas was the obvious choice for our third US office. With its flourishing start-up ecosystem of incubators, tech meet-ups and a strong Fortune 500 presence, it holds real potential for Austin Fraser. With our Austin team just three hours away too, it will allow for deeper collaboration, ensuring our networks and talent pools are harnessed for client success.
As with previous locations, it’s important to us that we are embedded in the local community. Our approach is about adapting and integrating, while staying true to our Austin Fraser DNA. We invest heavily in communities, creating longer-term relationships while developing an exceptional pool as well as new career opportunities internally.
 
International growth
This past 18 months has seen Austin Fraser double our global locations, with offices in Berlin, Denver and Dallas.  We scale our international teams with home-grown talent, while building a strong local talent pipeline.
As Alina explains “We’re seeing a lot of our clients with hubs across the US so for this market, it makes sense for us to support as many of those as we can, as we extend Austin Fraser’s presence.  Our business is about how we can help our clients grow. Being on hand, to build real connections and relationships really means that we can specialise as well as play an active part in the tech community here.”
Further expansion plans in the UK, Europe and the US are in place and we’ll look forward to sharing these later this year.

Thames Valley Tech Awards

Thames Valley Tech Awards 2018: Top Tech Employer

Thames Valley Tech Awards 2018: Top Tech Employer
 
We’re partnering with The Business Magazine to support the launch of the first ever Thames Valley Tech Awards, a celebration of all things tech in the area. We’re taking the lead on the Top Tech Employer as we have the pleasure of working with these game changers every day. If you think you have what it takes, please take a look at our criteria and follow the instructions below to apply.
 
Here’s what we’re looking for in the Thames Valley’s Top Tech Employer:
 
An innovative and inclusive culture
Tell us about the way you work, interact and collaborate as a business. How open are your communication channels, how approachable are the leadership team and what do you do to achieve this?
 
A clear brand identity
Are your employees aligned with your business values and how do the leadership team embody them? Are your people engaged in the work they’re doing and how do you know?
 
Investing in your people
People are the backbone of any organisation, how do you invest in yours? Do you support their personal and professional development with training and progression opportunities? How achievable is a work/life balance in your organisation? Do your people feel valued what are the levels of your staff retention in 2017?
 
Company benefits scheme
 
Do you just offer the standard benefits package or have you created tailored schemes to really differentiate yourselves from the competition? Are you regularly reviewing your offering or is it stagnated?
 
Giving back & creating a positive impact
 
How do you recognise your responsibility as an organisation to give back to the community and how do you engage your employees in this? Do you support charities and if so, how? Are you conscious of your impact on the environment and what do you do to minimise this?
 
Innovating in your space
What are you doing to implement creative working styles, are you using the latest tech to create the most efficient solutions for your business?
 
Talent attraction 
How strong is your employer branding? Do you value your candidate experience and how can you demonstrate this?
 
If you have a strong case for each of these areas, we’d love to hear from you.
 
Follow this link https://tvtechawards.co.uk/tech-awards-categories/ and download the Top Tech Employer Award application form (8th one down).
 
We look forward to receiving your applications and celebrating with you on the night.

Meet AF’s new German Tech Director, Ashley Dunbar

Meet AF’s new German Tech Director
We’re very proud to announce that Ashley Dunbar is our new German Technology Director. He’s been with the company over nine years and was promoted in February earlier this year to UK Technology Director. His wealth of experience in the Technology sector will help us deliver a first class service to our clients and candidates, as well as driving the growth and development of our teams.
 
“Continually developing my skills and taking on new challenges is something I relish so when the opportunity arose to gain international experience I knew it was the right move for me”, says Ashley Dunbar, German Technology Director. “Having built up the UK Technology business I was confident I had the knowledge and track record to take German Technology to the next level. I’m a few weeks into my role and I’m really impressed with all my new colleagues and believe the opportunity here is vast and the future really excites me. The vision for our German business is what initially enticed me. Making it a reality by moving into new territories and truly delivering performances which have a global impact is why I’m here.”
 
“None of this would have happened without my family who have supported me every step of the way. For all of us, relocating to Germany and a great city like Munich is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we couldn’t let pass us by.”
 
Pete Hart, CEO comments, “Ash’s ambition has always been evident, so it is was no surprise when he put himself forward for international opportunities. Relocating his family to Munich is yet again evidence of his commitment to Austin Fraser.”
 
We are confident that Ashley will thrive in his new role, and we’d like you to join us in wishing him the best of luck on this adventure as he relocates to Munich with his family.

Neues Büro am Lenbachplatz eröffnet

Neues Büro am Lenbachplatz eröffnet
Im März hatten wir berichtet, dass wir neue erstklassige Büroräume im Stadtzentrum von München gefunden haben. Nach monatelanger harter Arbeit sind wir jetzt endlich eingezogen: Seit dem 4. Dezember finden Sie uns am Lenbachplatz 1, einer der gefragtesten Adressen Münchens. Der Lenbachplatz befindet sich in bester Lage mit sehr guter Verkehrsanbindung, und in der nahegelegenen Kaufinger Straße gibt es jede Menge Restaurants, Bars, Fitness-Studios, Geschäfte und andere gesellige Angebote.

Dieses Jahr hat Austin Fraser weltweit nicht weniger als sechs neue Büros eröffnet. Sie alle ermöglichen uns, unseren Kandidaten und Kunden einen noch besseren Service zu bieten – und München macht da keine Ausnahme. Mit diesen modernen Büroräumen werden wir unsere jetzige Mitarbeiterzahl mehr als verdoppeln können!
 
„Wir sind begeistert von der Modernisierung unserer Büros und dem Umzug in Premium-Geschäftsräume in bester Lage im Herzen von München. Wir haben mit verschiedenen Designern und Handwerkern zusammengearbeitet, um unsere Ideen in die Tat umzusetzen und für die tägliche Arbeit unserer Teams ein wirklich inspirierendes Umfeld zu schaffen. Austin Fraser ist in den fünf Jahren, die wir in München sind, schnell gewachsen. Und jetzt haben wir die richtige Grundlage, um dieses Wachstum fortzusetzen und neue Chancen zu schaffen.“ Ashley Dunbar, Director Germany.
 
Neben mehreren modernen Bereichen für Meetings und soziale Aktivitäten gibt es jetzt auch bessere Schulungsmöglichkeiten, was die Teamarbeit noch stärker fördern dürfte. Diese sehr gut ausgestatteten Einrichtungen können auch unsere Kunden und Kandidaten für die Rekrutierung nutzen – eine zusätzliche Erweiterung unseres Full-Service-Angebots. Dass unsere Kunden ihre geschäftlichen Ziele erreichen und erfolgreich Ausnahmetalente im vom Arbeitskräftemangel geprägten deutschen Technologiemarkt für sich gewinnen können, steht für uns an erster Stelle.
 
Um unser neues Büro vorzustellen und die Räumlichkeiten mit unseren Kunden und Kandidaten zu teilen, werden wir in den kommenden Wochen einige Tage der offenen Tür veranstalten. Sie wollen gern vorbeikommen und einen Tag an der Seite unseres Teams arbeiten? E-Mail an [email protected] genügt!
 

Leaders in Tech: Munich

Fünf Konsequenzen aus der DGSVO für Ihr Technologie-Unternehmen

Leaders in Tech ist eine Gruppe von Managern und Vordenkern, die sich regelmäßig zum Diskutieren aktueller Technologietrends sowie zum Wissensaustausch, zur persönlichen Weiterbildung und zum Networking trifft.
Unsere letzte Veranstaltung im Jahr 2017 findet am 6. Dezember in München in unserem neuen Büro am Lenbachplatz 1 statt. Im Mittelpunkt werden diesmal alle Aspekte der Sicherheit und des Datenschutzes stehen, einschließlich eines Überblicks über die kommende EU-Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSGVO), die am 25. Mai 2018 in Kraft tritt.
Diese Neuregelung dürfte umfassende Konsequenzen für Unternehmen jeder Größe haben. Torsten Rammelmann von der Solvectio GmbH wird uns am 6. Dezember genauer über die Veränderungen und ihre Auswirkungen informieren. Bis dahin haben wir schon einmal einige Punkte zusammengefasst, auf die wir bei Austin Fraser bei unseren Vorbereitungen für den 25. Mai gestoßen sind.
Fünf Konsequenzen aus der DGSVO für Ihr Technologie-Unternehmen
 
1. Zustimmung
Die jetzige Definition des Begriffs „eindeutig“ gilt auch bei der DGSVO weiterhin als Rechtsgrundlage für die Zustimmung zur Verarbeitung nicht sensibler Daten. Dennoch schreibt die neue Regelung vor, dass Unternehmen, die Benutzerdaten für einen bestimmten Zweck sammeln, diese Daten nicht ohne ausdrückliche Zustimmung des Benutzers übertragen oder für einen anderen Zweck mit anderen teilen dürfen. Dies könnte unternehmerische Innovationen auf Grundlage der vorhandenen Daten einschränken. Auch für die Verarbeitung sensibler Daten ist eine ausdrückliche Zustimmung erforderlich.
 
Eine Folge der neuen Gesetzgebung ist, dass Unternehmen die (eindeutige oder ausdrückliche) Zustimmung häufiger von Kunden einholen müssen. Eine Sorge ist, dass dies zu einer „Zustimmungsmüdigkeit“ führt, vergleichbar mit der „bedeutungslosen Einwilligung“, mit der man heutzutage Cookie-Hinweise auf Webseiten wegklickt. In der Implementierungsphase muss genau auf den praktischen Wert von Zustimmungsanforderungen für neue Technologien wie das Internet der Dinge (IoT) geachtet werden, das weder webbasiert ist noch sichtbare Benutzeroberflächen bietet.
2. Neue Verbindlichkeiten und Verpflichtungen für Datenverarbeiter
Eine wesentliche Änderung durch die neue Regelung ist, dass Datenverantwortliche und -verarbeiter bei Verstößen gegen die Verordnung gemeinsam haften.
Dieser Haftungsverbund erweitert die Verantwortung über die Unternehmen hinaus, die personenbezogene Daten sammeln und verwenden. Cloud-Anbieter, Rechenzentren und Verarbeiter werden künftig für die Daten haften, mit denen sie arbeiten. Da Datenverarbeiter kaum wissen können, ob die von Datenverantwortlichen gesammelten Daten der neuen Verordnung entsprechen, dürften die rechtlichen Implikationen dieser Anforderung den Vertragsabschluss zwischen Verantwortlichen und Verarbeitern schwierig und womöglich kostspielig gestalten. Das bedeutet, dass auf Kunden – insbesondere kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen – höhere Kosten zukommen. Verbraucher werden zudem mit einer komplexen Rechtslage konfrontiert, in der wenig Klarheit herrscht, wer bei Datenschutzverletzungen zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen ist. Nationale Datenschutzbehörden werden in enger Zusammenarbeit mit der Industrie Best-Practice-Modellverträge entwickeln müssen, damit vorgeschriebene Mithaftungsanforderungen möglichst einfach erfüllt werden können.
 
3. Einschränkungen beim „berechtigten Interesse“ als Rechtsgrundlage für die Datenverarbeitung
Viele Unternehmen verlassen sich derzeit auf den Rechtsbegriff des „berechtigten Interesses“ als Rechtsgrundlage für die legitime Verarbeitung von personenbezogenen Daten. Die neuen Regelungen beschränken nun aber die Fälle, in denen ein solches berechtigtes Interesse als Rechtsgrundlage für die Verarbeitung dienen kann. Unternehmen müssen sicherstellen, dass alle auf dieser Rechtsgrundlage verarbeiteten Daten die jetzt strikteren Anforderungen erfüllen und der Gesetzeslage im Mitgliedsstaat entsprechen. Das berechtigte Interesse ist eine wichtige Voraussetzung für die digitale Wirtschaft und stärkt die Unternehmensposition im Kampf gegen Cyber-Kriminalität und betrügerische Aktivitäten. Die Einschränkung dieser Begründung für die Datenverarbeitung könnte sich für viele Unternehmen als problematisch erweisen.
 
4. Neue Einschränkungen beim Profiling für Produkte und Dienstleistungen
Viele Unternehmen nutzen das Profiling und automatisierte, profilbasierte Entscheidungen, um kosteneffiziente, personalisierte Dienste in Echtzeit bereitzustellen, von denen Kunden profitieren. Die neue Verordnung begrenzt den Einsatz des Profiling, wenn dies zu „Rechtswirkungen“ führen könnte. Dies könnte bedeuten, dass z. B. Finanzdienstleister kein vollständig automatisiertes Profiling ohne irgendeine Form von Überprüfung durch einen Bearbeiter mehr verwenden dürfen. Das automatisierte Profiling wird unter bestimmten Umständen jedoch zulässig sein, z. B. bei der Betrugserkennung, bei öffentlichen Dienstleistungen oder wenn es das nationale Recht vorsieht.
Diese neuen Regelungen können für viele FinTech-Unternehmen problematisch sein, da das Erbringen gewisser personalisierter Finanz- und Versicherungsleistungen für Kunden hierdurch erschwert wird. Auch könnte es schwieriger für Unternehmen werden, insbesondere die betrügerischen Aktivitäten zu erkennen und zu verhindern, gegen die ein manuelles Vorgehen praktisch nicht machbar ist.
 
5. Innovation und weitere Verarbeitung
In einer digitalen Wirtschaft hängt Innovation von der Fähigkeit ab, vorhandene Daten zu verwenden und die Welt unterschiedlich zu betrachten. Die neue Verordnung sieht engere Grenzen für die weitere Verarbeitung vor, was Innovationen in vielen Unternehmen erschweren dürfte.
Es gibt viele unterschiedliche Interpretationen über die genaue Bedeutung dieses Artikels und wie er die Möglichkeiten von Unternehmen beeinflusst, neue, innovative Dienstleistungen basierend auf vorhandenen Daten zu entwickeln. Doch angesichts der empfindlichen Bußgelder, die Unternehmen bei einem Verstoß gegen die Verordnung drohen, ist die rechtliche Absicherung entscheidend, um nicht an Innovationskraft einzubüßen.
Sie wollen mehr über die DSGVO und die Folgen für Ihr Unternehmen erfahren? Hier können Sie sich für die letzte Veranstaltung von Leaders in Tech am 6. Dezember anmelden.
 
Ablauf des Abends:
19:00 Beginn
19:00 – 19:30 Networking und Glühwein
19:30 – 19:45 Security-Tests – eine Präsentation von Jürgen Unterreitmayer
19:45 – 20:00 Überblick über die DSGVO – Torsten Rammelmann
20:00 – 20:15 Live Hacker Demo
20:15 – 20:30 Fragen und Diskussion
20:30 – 21:00 Networking
21:00 Ende
Was für ein gutes Jahr für Leaders in Tech! Unsere wachsende Community in München zählt jetzt über 450 Mitglieder. Gemeinsam haben wir über Entwicklungen beim IoT, agile Strategien und die digitale Revolution gesprochen, erstklassigen Rednern gelauscht, uns einen Gin gegönnt, auf der Dachterrasse gegrillt und das Oktoberfest gefeiert. Unser Erfolg in München hat zu weiteren Leaders in Tech Events in Berlin, Stuttgart und im britischen Reading geführt – und für die Zukunft ist noch mehr geplant. Das nächste Leaders in Tech Meetup in Ihrer Nähe und unsere Community finden Sie hier.
 

Five ways the GDPR will impact your tech business

 
Leaders in Tech is a group of managers and thought leaders who regularly get together to discuss current tech trends, share knowledge, learn new things and network. Our final Munich event of 2017 will be held on Wednesday 6th December in our brand new office at Lenbachplatz 1.
 
The topic this time will be all things security and data protection, including an overview of the upcoming GDPR, which will come into force on 25th May 2018.
 
This change in regulation could have any number of implications for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Tortsen Rammelmann from Solvectio GmbH will give us a more in-depth insight into the changes and their respective ramifications on 6th December, but for now, we have put together a summary of the issues we have become aware of at Austin Fraser, as we ourselves prepare for 25th May.
 
Five ways the GDPR will impact your tech business
1. Consent
The Regulation has maintained the current definition of ‚unambiguous‘ as the legal basis for consent for processing non-sensitive data. However; the new rules mean that businesses that gather users‘ data for a specific purpose will not be allowed to transfer or share this data for a different purpose without the user’s explicit consent. This could inhibit the ability of businesses to innovate with existing data. Explicit consent will also be required for the processing of sensitive data.

A consequence of the new legislation is that businesses will need to seek consent (unambiguous or explicit) more often from customers. A concern about this is that it could lead to ‚consent fatigue‘ and the kind of ‚meaningless consent‘ people provide when they click away cookie reminders on websites. The implementation phase will need to look closely at how practical consent requirements will be for emerging technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), which are not web-based and have no obvious user interfaces.
 
2. New liabilities and obligations for data processors
A significant change in the new rules is that data controllers and processors will be jointly liable for any breach of the Regulation.

Joint liability will extend responsibility beyond the companies that collect and use personal data. Cloud-providers, data centres and processors will now be liable for data held on their services. Given that data processors will have little visibility over whether the data collected by data controllers are compliant with the new Regulation, managing the legal implications of this requirement within contracts between controllers and processors will be difficult and potentially costly. This means that customers, particularly SMEs, will be faced with higher costs. Consumers will also be faced with a complex legal environment with less clarity around who is liable in the case of data breaches. National data protection authorities will need to work closely with industry to develop best practice model contracts to help streamline compliance with joint liability requirements as much as possible.
 
3. Restrictions on the use of ‚legitimate interest‘ as legal basis to process data 
Many companies currently rely on the legal concept of ‚legitimate interest‘ as a legal basis to lawfully process personal data. The new rules restrict the instances where legitimate interest can be used as a legal basis for processing. Companies will have to ensure that any data processed under this legal base is compliant with the now more restricted requirements and reflect member state law. Legitimate interest is a key enabler of the digital economy and underpins a company’s ability to combat cybercrime and fraudulent activity. Restrictions on its use as a basis for data processing could prove problematic for many businesses.
 
4. New restrictions on the use of profiling to support products and services
Many companies rely on profiling and automated decision making based on profiles, to develop cost-effective real-time personalised services that benefit customers. The new Regulation will limit the use of profiling in circumstances where its use may lead to ‚legal effects‘ and could mean that companies offering financial services, for example, are unable to use fully automated profiling, without some form of human review. Automated profiling will be allowed in certain circumstances such as fraud detection and public services, or where provided for in national law.

The new rules could be problematic for many FinTech companies as it will make it more difficult for companies to offer some personalised financial and insurance services to consumers. It could also make it harder for companies to detect and prevent fraudulent activity, which cannot feasibly be done manually.
 
5. Innovation and further processing
In a digital economy, innovation depends upon the ability to use existing data to see and understand the world differently. The new Regulation imposes stricter limits on such further processing which will make it more difficult for many organisations to drive innovation.

There are differences of interpretation about the precise meaning of this Article and how it impacts the ability of companies to develop new innovative services based on existing data. However, given the severity of fines that could be imposed if companies are found to be in breach of the Regulation, legal certainty will be essential for unlocking innovation.
 
If you would like to find out more about GDPR and the impacts on your business then join us for the final Leaders in Tech event of the year on the 6th December by signing up here.
Here is what you can expect from the night:

19:00 Arrive

19:00 – 19:30 Networking and Glühwein

19:30 – 19:45 Security Testing – A presentation by Jürgen Unterreitmayer

19:45 – 20:00 GDPR an Overview – Torsten Rammelmann

20:00 – 20:15 Live Hacker Demo

20:15 – 20:30 Q&A, Discussion

20:30 – 21:00 Networking

What a fantastic year it has been for Leaders in Tech. Our thriving community in Munich now has over 450 members, together we’ve discussed developments in IoT, Agile, and the Digital Revolution, with some fantastic speakers whilst gin tasting, BBQing on the roof terrace, and celebrating Oktoberfest. Off the back of our success in Munich we have now also launched Leaders in Tech in Berlin, Stuttgart and Reading, UK, and have plans to further expand.
Find your nearest Leaders in Tech Meetup and join the community here.
 
 

WeWork Berlin coworking space

We are expanding our presence in Berlin

 We are expanding our presence in Berlin
We are excited to announce that our Berlin team has moved to a new location in Ku’Damm.  We spent the past year in a building less than a mile away from our new location – our old office served us well, and we made great memories there, but we couldn’t be more excited about our new space.
 
We are pleased to occupy a vast, open-plan office within the WeWork Ku’Damm complex, a modern masterpiece of co-working space spanning six floors of industrial design heaven, located in the heart of Berlin. We’re excited about the hustle and bustle happening outside our windows and all of the great bars and restaurants within an easy walking distance of the new location.
 
While we were happy with our previous space, when we first moved in there were only 3 of us who had relocated from Munich so, we had plenty of room. Now that the team has tripled in size, it’s safe to say space was getting tight. The new office offered more square-footage, but more importantly, it allowed us to rethink our layout. We were able to start from scratch by knocking down walls and putting up others that better fit our team and how we’re growing. Overall, we now have more of an open plan so we’re all working closer together.
 
It has been an exciting ten years for Austin Fraser, and we look at this new location as the start of another chapter in our history. We’re still working on getting settled in and adding artwork to the walls, but we’re incredibly excited to be in the new space. We’ll be hosting a welcome party soon, so if you’re in the area, feel free to stop in and say ‘Hi!’
 
The new address is:
Austin Fraser GmbH
c/o WeWork Kurfürstendamm
11 10719
Berlin