Romexsoft Takeaways from IT Arena 2017: Future Is Here

Sep 29 - Oct 1, 2017, Romexsoft team visited IT Arena 2017, the biggest IT conference in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Get more insights on the event in our report below.

Romexsoft team often visits different tech conferences all over the world as it is in very deed a source of new ideas inspired by latest trends, new connections within all industry, and a great pack of knowledge shared by industry leaders and young entrepreneurs eager to disrupt the market. Among the top conferences, we have visited lately are Web Summit, The Next Web, Amsterdam Capital Week, Startup Safary Berlin, etc.

And as Romexsoft is an active member of Lviv IT Cluster, we couldn’t miss event organized by this alliance – IT Arena 2017. So here’s a short intro about the event and our own thoughts and impressions from it.

About IT Arena

IT Arena is a three-day event that takes place in Lviv, Ukraine, and is the biggest  IT conference in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The main idea of this event is to gather global changemakers and the most inspiring thinkers to share their ideas in one place.

Also, here are some numbers that show the size of this event:

  • 2000 participants
  • 70 Outstanding speakers
  • 100 Startups
  • 20+ Meetups at the Lviv City Centre

And here’s what we have experienced during IT Arena 2017.

Nataliia Bubniuk, Marketing Manager at Romexsoft

First of all, I would like to say that I was impressed with the size of IT Arena 2017, the speakers who came to this event, and their speeches that have inspired people to go and change the processes at their companies, approaches to work or even the whole business or technological systems.

Lviv IT arena 2017

Source: IT Arena

Also, IT Arena showed that Ukrainian tech companies are not only about software development outsourcing, yet we have a lot of startups and product companies with a wide range of skills on the board: not only programming but strong business and product management expertise.

Regarding the speakers at this event, for me, the most encouraging was Alexandr Nix, CEO at Cambridge Analytica (who was the keynote speaker so that isn’t surprising), and Lisa Long, VP of Innovation and Product Governance at Telenor.

I think there is no need to make a long intro about Mr. Nix and Cambridge Analytica as almost everyone has read that Donald Trump campaign used CA’s data services in the 2016 presidential race. And you know what happened next.

During his speech, Alexandr showed that the future is closer than we might even imagine and the use of big data can not only transform the information you have into better decisions, but it can help make targeted messages not for the audience segments but for every individual instead. Just imagine: you form a piece of communication based on peer’s personal preferences, emotional portrait, and psychotype besides age, gender, location, and other standard data marketers use all over the world. This makes a huge step in client relationship management.

The second speaker I mentioned, Lisa Long, is a skilled product manager, and she shared her own experience using references to heroes of Game of Thrones (and that can’t be not interesting).

But if we return to the topic, she shared such considerable theme as “You are not your target market”. It might sound like a template phrase, but it’s not. Sometimes product and marketing managers know/love/believe in their product so much they think their users have the same information and are keen to it. But what happens is that customers are tired of using a non-handy solution and move to another one. And step by step, worthy ideas become one more unsuccessful business case.

But, what’s good, there is a solution that will help you be a good manager and overcome such a scenario. Even four solutions:

  1. Talk often with your network, ask them what they experience, what are their pain points, etc.
  2. Treat your customers well. If your user has filled a questionnaire you requested don’t forget to leave him a bonus. He deserves that.
  3. Build an external network, talk with people outside the office, and even outside the industry.
  4. Understand your customer’s lives: when they use your product, in what situations, etc. Try to be a user of your product for a day.

These four tips sound pretty simple yet their implementation into your everyday processes will help you make an appreciable product that your clients will just love.

Halyna Levko, Head of Sales and Marketing at Romexsoft

IT Arena of 2017 has impressed me with highly qualified speakers. Specifically, my attention was caught by two speakers:

– Alexandr Nix, CEO at Cambridge Analytica.

– Lisa Long, VP of Innovation and Product Governance at Telenor.

Yes, they are already mentioned but that only speaks about how affected is our SMarketing team.

The other “personality” I can’t help mentioning – is Arina, a digital hostess, who created “the future is here” atmosphere. Unusual experience! Below you can check a small piece of the show:

Source: IT Arena

But let’s go back to the speakers, their presentations, and my key takeaways:

  • Ability to process and manage Big Data is a powerful tool for managerial decisions;
  • The relevant network is one of the top priorities you should consider if you are a product manager;
  • In the advent of disruptive technologies that we can witness now within IT industry, things like hands-on experience, crystal clear reputation and credibility are not less important for outsourcing vendors to be successful internationally.
  • Awareness of how processes take place inside human brains and what emotions they trigger appeared to be key expertise for favorable positioning of products/services.
  • Ukrainian business owners need to be more ambitious and dare themselves to plan their business growth on a global scale.

And this is only a small part of everything you could find out during IT Arena 2017.

I hope to meet at IT Arena 2018!

Iryna Paliy, PMO Manager at Romexsoft

A lot has been said about the scale of this year IT Arena. And this is not without reasons. However, I would like to share my key insights from the meetup with Denys Prylutskyi, Head of PMO at Perfectial. Speaker shared his managerial conclusions he made during his career path of more than 25 years in IT. I found them extremely valuable for everyone engaged in project management – either developers or executives. Some of his insights I would like to share here with you.
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Project Management Office is a competence center of project management skills and practices in the company. Actually, it exists whether you have it as a separate business unit or not. But in case you do have it, you can re-use and take advantage of all knowledge and experience regarding project management, which is a significant asset.

Secondly, it is crucial that project management was not oriented on the simple completion of the projects, but rather it should be business-oriented. Project managers should be aware of significant business metrics (such as profitability, labor margin, customer satisfaction, etc.) of their projects. Moreover, s/he should be responsible for these metrics. Thus, project management becomes an instrument to earn money for the company.

What is even more important, PMO is about leadership. Project managers are a very important link between executives and employees in the company. PMs should be agents of the company strategy. If the strategy is communicated to the employees by PMs there’s a higher chance it will be correctly understood.

How to check if your PMO is successful? You can consider the following KPIs:

(a) employees understand company strategy – which you can check by internal surveys;

(b) no critical fuck-ups in terms of budget (you choose the financial limit);

(c) the profitability of each project.

So, in order not to have a knowledge drain it is crucial to listen to these hints in terms of establishing your own PMO at your company.

About Romexsoft:

Romexsoft is a software development consultancy dedicated to Java applications with our own development center located in Lviv, Ukraine and a client base around Europe and the USA.

During the last 13 years we’ve developed and successfully delivered more than 100 projects to our clients in Fintech, Healthcare, and Broadcast Media industries.

We are obsessed with innovations and their implementation into our processes, so we could provide effectively and market competitive solutions to industry leaders and startups with creative ideas.

Learn more at or contact us to get more insights.

Written by Romexsoft on October 3, 2017

Nataliia Hey! I’m Nataliia, Digital Marketing Strategist at Romexsoft. I love marketing, PR and like discovering new trends in IT world. Time to time I will share with you some great stuff. Hope you will enjoy.
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