Leading Global Tech Executives Praise Ukraine at EBA’s Seattle Tech Days Forum
Ukraine continues to be recognized globally as a technology epicenter of Eastern Europe and an emerging all-star in digital transformation.
This was the point of Seattle Tech Days, the Ukraine-US tech business forum held by the European Business Association in late August and supported by Sigma Software as a General Partner.
Seattle was chosen as a hosting city as it is poised to become the next Silicon Valley and the new heartbeat of US business. Boeing, Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft, CostCo, T-Mobile, and other American business giants are headquartered there.
Seattle Tech Days speakers portfolio included Rob Torres, Managing Director at Google, Benjamin Aguero, Director at KPMG Advisory, Brad Bell, Executive Cloud and Infrastructure at Microsoft, and many other.
After the welcoming speeches, participants bounced over the panel discussions. One of them was dedicated to digitalization; it raised current issues of business plunging into the digital world and how things are going with digitalization in Ukraine. More and more Ukrainians nowadays try on the life in the digital environment: they use e-com marketplaces to buy on the Internet, they monitor the work of various services (including government) through special online portals, etc. Surely, the US people got used to such thing as digital services, as the process here started about two decades ago. On the other hand, in Ukraine new digital services are now created using the latest technologies, while in the USA they were developed 15-20 years ago and rarely have been updated since. This is a place for improvement and that’s where Ukraine can become a useful partner.
Newest technologies were the key topic that by some means was touched in every panel. Among the challenges that were raised during the discussion of using the trendy technologies like IoT and Big Data, security was recognized as a very sensitive one, because with all these novelties we just giving out control of all our data to machines.
This led to the discussion of cyber security. Valery Krasovsky, CEO at Sigma Software mentioned:
“Companies consider cyber security as a serious issue. Some businesses are particularly interested in protecting their data, for instance, pharmaceutical or law firms. We get many requests for customers systems audit in terms of cybersecurity; we also put a great focus on it in our company as well. In Ukraine, this direction attracts more people every day. Lately several thematic events and contests were launched for engineers working in cyber security area. That’s kind of a trend that will work in for the next few years.”
During the panel “From startups to multinationals” Alexey Stoletny, Managing Director at Sigma Software Inc., the USA, told about the experience company has accumulated working with companies of all sizes for the last 14 years:
“Over the years, we’ve helped dozens of startups build their products from the ground up, many of which have been acquired by large world-known players or become multimillion dollar businesses since. With years of experience in building successful products for the US startups, we keep launching new offers unique on the consulting market like CTO-as-a-Service. Months after launch, we’ve got numerous startups entirely reliant on us as their technology provider.
In startups world, people look for engineers to be fully invested into the company and product they are building, so how does it work with a remote team? At Sigma Software, we believe that everyone must be personally and wholeheartedly invested into the startup's product to build it right, and it's not a 9-to-5 job for our engineers — it's who we are. Coming to the office to do the best work of your life, loving and caring about the product as if it was your only child and putting a piece of your heart into it — this is the philosophy and culture behind everything we touch."
Many other questions, such as intellectual property protection, IT education development in Ukraine, getting and retaining talents, employees care in IT companies, to name just a few, were raised during the event.
Following the forum, the local Puget Sound Business Journal noted: "Ukraine can help support Seattle-area companies. Hundreds of Ukrainian universities train a combined 15,000 technology graduates every year. The cost of living and doing business is lower in Eastern Europe than the Seattle area, so local companies could potentially benefit by sending technical work to countries including Ukraine."