Is the role of CTO broken?

Are the financial benefits of becoming a tech contractor upsetting the traditional career progression and creating a shortage at the top?
This challenging question has prompted numerous conversations within our Leaders in Tech communities.
When we ask this question of engineers  –  particularly those with more experience in smaller companies  – they imagine a sort of ‘super Tech Lead’: a very senior engineer who is going to lead the technical direction of an organisation.
So what exactly does a CTO do all day?
Answers to that question from current CTOs have included:

Working with commercial stakeholders (CEO, board, investors), to identify the commercial roadmap over ‘x’ months.
Working with product owners and business analysts to develop a realistic product roadmap that supports the commercial roadmap.
Identifying a tech roadmap aligned with product and commercial roadmaps.
Negotiating when you realise the commercial or product roadmaps are unrealistic because of technical constraints. Note: negotiate, not “tell others it can’t be done”. Negotiation skills are critical.
Figuring out how to structure teams, line reporting, process and cadence within the technical team.
Getting the balance between feature development, BAU and technical debt/bug quashing right for the commercial and product culture within the business.
Keeping up to date with changes in law that have impact on technical roadmaps.
Preparation and negotiation of budgets to be spent on tech staff – salary budgets often have to be treated differently to others.
Preparation and negotiation of budgets around technical operations such as hardware, service fees (data centre, cloud, etc.), software licensing, patent licensing where appropriate, etc.
Validating all of the above with senior management and board members, mostly using the language they are most fluent in: finance. You will spend a lot of time building spreadsheets and slide decks, and you’ll ideally need to do basic interpretation of a balance sheet to keep up.
Communicating the above with shareholders and future investors whilst giving yourself enough margin to not get fired if it doesn’t pan out.
Setting cultural tone for the technical team. All of the below contribute to that, but ultimately you are going to set the example. The kind of behaviour you choose to reward is what the team will eventually value.

Notice, there isn’t much engineering going on here. Depending on what’s going on within your company, it’s unlikely you’re going to be spending too much time working on product, and it’s worth expanding on that:
In very small companies, you are going to have to work on the product directly. In larger companies you won’t have time to work on the product directly.
Leaders in Tech | Berlin
Join us on Thursday 18th October for the next instalment of Leaders in Tech | Berlin, a community for CTOs, CIOs, VPs, Heads of IT and other senior technology leaders to get together and discuss current tech trends.

Jason Franklin-Stokes – interim CTO with 30 years of successfully creating, building and growing technology start-ups in Germany, France, UK and US – will be discussing why the CTO role is dead! (or at least dying out). Are businesses demanding faster time to markets and user centricity? Is this shifting a focus from Tech to Product. Why do companies need a CTO? Or even a head of IT? If the CPO is the role that everything rotates around then surely the CTO is dead?
If you are a senior level technology leader, this is an opportunity for you to meet with fellow technology leaders from established and/or innovative businesses. To share in best practises, discuss up and coming advances in technology/methodologies & generally connect with like minded individuals with similar interests/challenges.

Understanding Developer Typology

Understanding Developer Typology
Ahead of the June Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg held on 21st June 2018 we speak with 1&1’s Matthias Wittum, Head of the Source Center and Christian Rehn, Software Developer in 1&1’s Customer Selfcare Solutions about their highly developed frameworks and models which are specially designed to examine developer typology. Their frameworks and models are proven to support developer teams, strengthen communication and optimise design decisions.
 
Matthias Wittum explains that whilst working with Christian Rehn, they identified how different developers can be when it comes to reaching a design decision and how this has an impact on the development teams. We know that developers are unique problem solvers who draw on different approaches, knowledge, cultures, experience and principles to produce software solutions. Developers naturally approach projects uniquely, and the outcome can play to a particular focus or strength. Of course within a development team this can lead to several solutions being found and so the challenge is often finding one team solution or design route.
 
There are enough personality tests out there, but no tests or frameworks based specifically on developers. We felt that some instruments were needed to enable better production efficiency and to help develop teams according to their orientation and typology, so we started filling the gap. That’s how the Design Types Model for instance, came to fruition. It sets out to define developers’ typology via a relatively straightforward base of questions for each developer to answer. The answers provides help classify their typology and then you can group them accordingly. Using this model makes it easier to gain an impression of whether the tasks, the way of working and the environment are a good fit.
 
Here are three Models which we have formulated to identify developer typology, aid better case arguments to reach design decisions more quickly and to help optimise development teams:

Design Types Model – sets out to identify why software design is individual and often leads to discussions with colleagues.
Design Cards – great interactive tool using a set of predefined cards used to aid technical discussions by using proven arguments.
Design Matrix – helps you to examine technical problems from all perspectives.

Read more about these interactive Models here.
 
Ever since the agile movement, technical decisions are increasingly discussed or reviewed within the team. Collective Code Ownership means that everyone is now jointly responsible for the software and as a result, it is important for developers to be able to argue precisely and comprehensively, to be able to put oneself into the motives of your colleagues. With our models, we want to support exactly this and strengthen communication in development teams.
 
Leaders in Tech
Thanks to those who joined us at our Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg meetup held on 21st June 2018 when Matthias and Christian give a complete overview of the developer typology, as well as the Design Cards and the Design Matrix. As a start, to understand the concepts and the overall context.
 

Austin Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for 2018

Austin Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for 2018
 
Hey y’all! We’re so excited to announce we’ve been recognized as a finalist for Austin Business Journal’s Best Place to Work for 2018!.
Our Finalist placing acknowledges that we go the extra mile for our teams.
 
Being recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Austin is so exciting for us and is credit to our culture and belief that our people are at the heart of our business.
 
Our success is creating a truly inspirational environment for our teams to work in every day. Our offices are designed to encourage collaboration and innovation in the way our team’s approach their work, allowing our dynamic workforce the space they need to be brilliant.
 
We offer an exclusive incentives package to motivate and make sure our people love what they do. We never leave out the fun stuff, with our buzzing calendar of social events everyone can get involved! This is what creates a great place to work and progress, and together helps shape our Austin Fraser DNA.
 
It’s our third year being nominated for this prestigious award and since last year’s nomination, we’ve become even better at listening to our people. We’re committed to improving internal career pathways, building closer relationships in our communities and with our clients, we hope to smash our previous 6th place ranking and come out on top this year.
 
We’ll keep you posted on where we’re ranked when the finalists’ placements are revealed on June 22nd!

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.

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.

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

The launch of all:in Denver, a community that actively promotes diversity in the workplace!

The launch of all:in Denver, a community that actively promotes diversity in the workplace! 
We are passionate about helping businesses and individuals grow by connecting them with relevant communities for sharing, learning, attracting talent and finding jobs.
 
All:in Denver is an inclusive community, promoting the benefits of diversity in workplaces by actively providing research and insight, and inspiring action.
 
Spearheading this launch is our Denver Lead, Oliver Wood and his team: “I’m very passionate about this project, having worked in the staffing industry for close to a decade, I have experienced first hand how important workplace diversity is. It’s incredibly enriching for both the companies who encourage it and the work they produce.”
 
We’re launching the inaugural all:in event in Denver, Colorado but have aspirations for the community to establish a global presence. We’ve partnered with Denver-based business leaders to create a board of stakeholders, so our decisions truly reflect the needs of local organizations. We’re working hard to provide our community with exclusive research and insight to promote change, as well as provide our members with a platform to share their ideas and experiences.
 
So, to kick off our first event we’re hosting a panel discussion on diversity in the workplace followed by an audience Q&A session with some of the leading diversity and CSR specialists in Colorado. We’d love you to get involved so we’ll provide you with loads of opportunities to have your say and really shape the course of the night.
 
Here’s what else you can expect:
 
4:30 – 5:20 Sign in, grab a drink and find someone interesting to talk to!

5:20 – 5:30 Introduction: The who, what, where & when of All:in

5:30 – 6:10 Panel discussion

6:10 – 6:30 Audience Q&A

6:30 – 7:00 Drinks & networking
 
To save your spot and join in the conversation, sign up here! 
We’d also like to thank Arrow Electronics, Colorado’s largest company, for hosting the event in their Innovators Club, a creative space in their Denver-area headquarters office designed to inspire guests and add a touch of ingenuity to any event.

Dave Howard - Marketing Director - Austin Fraser in Thames Tower's roof garden - The Roost

Life at AF: Why I joined Austin Fraser as Marketing Director

Why I joined Austin Fraser as Marketing Director

What an exciting time to be in recruitment, what an exciting time to be a marketer.
Recruiting’s a competitive business, and it’s getting even hotter. The job market continues to evolve. Recruiters need to do the same or risk being left behind. But recruiters are nothing if not persistent, adaptable and innovative. Mastering the new recruiting landscape and associated best practices that find and secure those competitively skilled and experienced candidates in demand today is irrefutably at the core of effective talent acquisition and recruiting.
 
Austin Fraser not only recognises these challenges but has the ability and appetite to tackle them head on and turn obstacles into opportunities. Success will be based on networks and networking. Consultants’ networks need to be extensive, varied and full of amazing talent. Whether you’re working in a talent-driven or job-driven market, the best consultants are those who network the most. And today, the mediums of networking are ever evolving too. Consider digital platforms, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, GitHub, Stack Overflow. Where are your candidates? You need to be wherever they are.
 
When it comes to showing up at work each and every day it takes more than an outstanding service, exceptional year-on-year growth and glowing customer reviews – all of which Austin Fraser has. It takes a fantastic team. Pete, Del, Jacob, Alice, Hannah, Rich, Tom, Ash, Brad, Laffers, Simmo, Jon and the 150+ global team are all exceptional people, and they are the reason I accepted Austin Fraser’s offer. It is these very people and their accomplishments that get me out of bed each and every day.
 
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that in order for any company to succeed, they need to anticipate customer needs and stay nimble in the face of change while remembering what made them special in the first place. This is true especially with our customers who pivot quickly and value a consultative approach to skills and staffing. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, the best recruitment companies provide services that are built to fit their customer’s’ needs and predict where they and the marketplace are going. Most importantly, they always remain dedicated to providing experience, insight, and service in order to help their customers succeed. Why? Because the recruitment ecosystem is complicated and ever-changing. What works today may or may not work tomorrow.
With one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry, Austin Fraser shares all these attributes.
 
Businesses increasingly prefer the ‘master of one’ to the ‘jack of all trades’. While it might sound convenient to just write one check, more and more businesses have realised that they’re better off looking for best-of-breed recruitment partners. That’s why one of the biggest trends in recruitment right now is a shift away from generalists that do a lot of things just okay, to specialists like Austin Fraser who have deep and demonstrable sector knowledge.
 

Philipp Klug, front-end consultant in Berlin

Life at AF: Philipp Klug, Senior Front-end Consultant in Berlin

Life at AF: Philipp Klug, Senior Front-end Consultant in Berlin 
Not everyone knows what a career in the recruitment industry really entails, Philipp was one of those people. However, almost two years down the line, he’s really starting to make waves in his industry. Having taken advantage of our global opportunities and making a huge impact in our newly formed Berlin team, Philipp has begun to carve out his career here with us at AF, pushing boundaries and bringing fierce ambition. Having recently been promoted to a Senior Consultant, we thought it was about time we sat down with him and find out about his journey so far…
 
Hi Philipp, what brought you to Austin Fraser?

After graduating last year, I wasn’t really sure where I was going to end up! I was wondering if I should be a pilot, an astronaut? I was pretty much open to everything! I searched around a bit and the Talent Acquisition team at Austin Fraser reached out to me. Everything I found online about Austin Fraser website sounded great and painted a really vivid picture but the real thing exceeded all my expectations! I also received such a warm welcome from the team when I first started, everything was new and exciting.
 
There’s an endless supply of cool events throughout the year – Germany Vision Day, Oktoberfest, our ASM Annual Sales Meeting in London, etc. These things definitely aren’t ‘normal’ but now I always have something to look forward to.
 
So, you originally joined us in Munich but now you’re in Berlin, what took you there?
 
When AF announced their plans to launch a Berlin hub earlier this year, they opened up opportunities to make the move. I instantly thought ‘cool, let’s do this!’, it was actually quite spontaneous. It sounded really exciting to help build up a startup within an established company. Of course, it was challenging at the beginning, but it is really fun! Moving to Berlin was surprisingly easy; I spent a weekend scoping out Berlin with another colleague, Lukas looking at apartments and we found one straight away. Now we’ve been in Berlin for 6 months already.
 
What’s your favourite part of Berlin?
 
It’s been so fun exploring the city, taking boat trips down the Spree river and finding the best local burger bars in Berlin but my favourite areas have to be Prenzlauer Berg and Charlottenburg. I love how diverse Berlin is, the people and their cultures but also the endless lists of things to do in your down time.
 
Personal development is obviously really important, especially when you’re just starting off in your career! How have you found it here?
 
I have monthly meetings with my team manager, Susi, and our director, Jacob. We look at my progress and see what can be done to progress even further. We have set really clear, personalised goals, so I know exactly what I need to do to climb the career ladder. The goals are definitely challenging but fair, and if you don’t reach them you are the only one to blame, management really give us all the support we need.
 
What do you think makes Austin Fraser a great place to work?
 
For me, one of our real USPs is that we employ people with great personalities, who bring a genuine human touch when working with clients. Another thing is the organic and strategic growth, of course the goal is to progress, but not by just any means possible. Everyone in a management position really knows what they are doing and have genuinely earned their promotions, even our German Technology Director Jacob started out as a Trainee. The final thing that really differentiates us is we remain true to ourselves and our values, despite our growth and success. Basically, it’s the people that make Austin Fraser so great!
 
How would you improve life at AF?
 
I think we should invest in some sun loungers for the roof terrace in Munich haha! No, in all seriousness not really. The nice thing is, we don’t claim to be perfect, we’re constantly working on improving and making things even better. You can’t ask for more than that!
 
Finally, do you have any advice for others joining Austin Fraser?
 
My advice to future trainees is to not be afraid to do something wrong, try hard to recognise the opportunities to develop your business and yourself as a person day in and day out and good things will happen!

IoT represents the third wave of digital transformation: Bernd Behler shares his thoughts and predictions

Bernd Behler is CTO of the IoT service provider tresmo. Together with his team, he has implemented more than 30 challenging IoT projects for companies such as Viessmann and TRUMPF machine tools. We’d like to introduce him as a confirmed speaker for our next Technology Chiefs CTO Meetup in Munich, Tuesday 19th September.

Ahead of this event, we spoke to Bernd to better understand the IoT landscape and the background to his presentation.
 
Bernd, thank you for taking the time to give us an insight into the world of the IoT! Okay, the first question for you: IoT and Industrie 4.0 are arguably the most discussed BuzzWords in IT right now, how would you define IoT?
IoT represents the third wave of digital transformation. A rapidly growing number of items are connected over the internet, such as heaters, T-shirts, cars and production lines. These are all equipped with sensors, processors, and connectivity to exchange data with other objects, such as servers, smartphones or other smart objects. If the objects are also equipped with actuators, they can even be controlled via the internet. In many cases they can even be controlled without direct human interaction; smart networks of intelligent objects can communicate directly with each other quickly and efficiently. When IoT is thought about in the context of industrial value-added processes, it is often referred to as Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
 
Where does your enthusiasm for IoT come from?
I have been developing sophisticated individual software solutions for 25 years; I love to solve challenging tasks with innovative technologies. That’s why I’ve always been an early adopter of new trends – on the web, in the cloud, on mobile apps, and for more than four years now, in IoT. This is currently one of the most exciting and diverse areas for software developers, which has opened the door to fascinating new possibilities. Even after completing more than 30 IoT projects, we are still learning a lot of new things in every new project and I think this will remain so for a long time – it really is a fascinating field!
 
Why can’t CTOs of SMEs afford to ignore this subject?
I am convinced that IoT will lead to dramatic economic upheaval, especially in manufacturing countries like Germany. While the last waves of digitisation largely passed manufacturing by and instead affected industries like commerce and media, IoT will really put Germany’s key sectors, such as engineering, construction and automotive, to the test.
 
Everyone needs to quickly understand the fourth industrial revolution, in order to secure their competitive edge, but also to secure the well-being of future generations.
 
Where do you see the biggest challenges for companies that want to take the first steps towards IoT or Industrie 4.0?
In our experience, the challenges lie in six key areas: the creation of effective innovation processes for the development of digital products and services, the development of viable IoT business models, the definition of a viable IT architecture, the selection of a suitable and affordable IoT platform, the implementation of the individual IoT solution and, finally, cybersecurity. In the past few years, tresmo has specialised in these areas within our service portfolio.
 
How do you see the development of IoT over the next few years, and what impact will it have on our daily lives?
 
We are still right at the start of the development. In a few years, today’s technologies and gadgets will seem hopelessly old-fashioned. Particularly at the intersection of IoT and artificial intelligence, technological development is progressing rapidly, and this will provide us with unprecedented opportunities in everyday life as well as in professional life. But this will also lead to enormous social and economic repercussions. We really should start a lively debate about this.
 
What can the participants expect from your keynote presentation at the next Munich Tech Chiefs CTO Meetup.
I am going to give a presentation on Real Life IoT Experiences. We will look at the challenges and success factors, covering the following areas:

Connectivity
Choosing the right IoT platform
Data standardisation
Interfaces
Quality Assurance

 
Afterwards, it’s all about networking, knowledge sharing and last but not least: Oktoberfest beer and Bavarian delicacies! 
 
______
 
Bernd, thank you for giving us such a detailed introduction to IoT. We are really looking forward to your presentation on September 19th!
Follow this link to find out more about The Technology Chiefs and join us at our next event… https://www.meetup.com/de-DE/Technology-Chiefs/events/242376663/

Creating a workplace of the future in our Reading HQ!

The launch of our brand new office refit in our Reading HQ!  
We partnered with design firm Area Sq to create a workspace of the future in our new, Reading-based HQ in Thames Tower. Throughout the initial briefing process, Area really got to grips with our why. They understood that our people are at the core of our business and helped us create a dynamic space, to accommodate our equally dynamic workforce. Our space deliberately encourages collaboration and innovation in the way our teams approach their work and each working day, ensuring our employees the resources and support to truly succeed in their roles. We’ll take you on a tour of our office and the progression of our refit in the video below.
 
Our break out area where we spend our lunch times, monthly meetings and host local Meetups and events
 
Our recent move of our Reading HQ into Thames Tower coincides with our tenth year of business. Over the last ten years we’ve expanded internationally, opening offices across Europe and the USA within the digital, technology, aviation, automation and life sciences industries. As a business, we were keen to set a precedent and create a truly inspirational space for our centralised hub in Reading. We’ve really considered the long term and ensured our space facilitates growth for each of teams to expand into.
We have a versatile range of meeting spaces for our teams to collaborate in
Thames Tower offers a 360 panoramic view of the Thames Valley, a rooftop garden where we regularly host and attend events, as well as a prime position in Reading Town Centre, with access to all the town, has to offer. Our office refit had to maintain these incredible standards and Area accomplished this and made our vision a reality.
 
Our classroom, where we provide immersive training experiences for our staff
 
CEO, Peter Hart says, “We really believe that what Area Sq has created represents the future workplace. It will play a huge role in helping Austin Fraser reach the next level of growth with the right people, technology and environment. It was important for us to have an office environment which offered different types of space to accommodate the different types of people and working practices that run throughout the business. This inspirational workplace will play a key role in helping us to continue to attract and retain the very best talent.”
 

Want to take a look for yourselves? Take a look at this video we worked on with Stanton Media and Area Sq…