ITL: IT Labs has been in the tech industry since 2005. Where were you then – and where are you now as a company? Where is IT Labs positioned at the moment in the world of software development?

Nina: Since IT Labs’ beginning 15 years ago, we’ve been cooperating with companies and businesses from various industries, located around the world. We started off with smaller projects and smaller teams, but over time, we developed our portfolio in several sectors and areas, and this allowed us to grow and expand as a company. As we rose through the ranks, we quickly became the main driver in the digital transformation of our partners. Now, we offer wide-spectrum products and services: from advising and consulting on business strategies, all the way to managing a full software-development process and cycle, including maintenance and support.

After opening our first dev hub and establishing and got a foothold in the market, we proceeded with expanding in the Americas, Western and Eastern Europe, covering business centers in the USA, UK, and the Netherlands. We have just opened an office in Serbia, since we identified that it has a strong IT capacity and a very developed business culture that will help us diversify, grow, and develop as a company.

ITL: What kind of clients do you work with? What kind of services do you offer them?

Nina: We offer a wide array of services, from deploying business agility to defining business strategies. Specifically, services regarding business analysis, product architecture, development, testing, DevOps, and cloud strategy. These include security services, which come in handy for clients with partial or non-existent coverage in this area. Our experts analyze security systems and their structures, and develop client-specific strategies.

With tech development and changes in the market, the services we offer also diversified and expanded, so now, we also offer AI and data science-related services as well. We have a team of experts in data analysis, data science, and AI who can transform clients’ product revenues by optimizing data flows and data analysis. Thus, leading the client with data that serves their unique position in the market. What sets us apart from the competition is the fact that we don’t just offer technical services. We offer highly skilled and professional teams which have worked on big projects, their success was measurable and tangible, and have helped clients develop and grow. There’s no need for the client to waste time and energy in putting together and nurturing teams to carry out tasks in various departments. We do all this for them, and then some. Our teams of professionals are focused on exceeding the expectations of the client, and we achieve this by treating people as the most valuable asset. We can guarantee quality in delivery and efficiency for our clients.

ITL: You said that you consider IT Labs as a value-driven company? Do you stick to those values, or are they really just for a good motivational poster at the office?

Nina: Integrity, excellence, proactivity, innovation, and people – these are our values. They are rooted deeply in how we work, they direct our perspective on business, help us innovate, and are the foundation of our strong team spirit. And of course, the cornerstone of every business decision we make.

We also use these values as the basis for our internal measurements – activities, individual and group performance – and it allows us to adjust our development plans and ensure our employees remain motivated and happy.  As I already said, we’re a company that it fulfilled its set goals, and we’re focused on providing quality service to our clients, but also creating desirable conditions for our employees, an environment in which they can develop but also be efficient at their work. Our employees like to act and work according to our values, and appreciate the results and benefits that come out from following them.

Me and everyone at IT Labs can clearly see how our values pave the way forward, and are part of what gives the company a unique face and position.

ITL: It’s in the nature of every business to grow and expand. Is that true for IT Labs?

Nina: We’ve been growing and expanding for a while now, with our next growth steps in Serbia. For us, it’s one of the main IT centers in the Balkans with a huge pool of skilled and experienced techies, and an excellent education system developing great IT engineers.

We’re extremely happy to be expanding there since it’s a country that has one of the biggest development hubs in the region. All the hubs in the region have many similarities and connections, so it will be a fun ride and a strong challenge for us.

ITL: Do you think that IT Labs can go head-to-head with a market such as the Serbian one? What does the company have to offer to the Serbian IT crowd?

Nina: Of course we can. We’ve done it before, and we’ve learned that the best way to approaching a new market does not differ in its essence from any other task you set out to do. Honesty and commitment are the best tools we have, and these will help us in networking with the local relevant entities, show support where needed, work with local startups and educational institutions, and just nest ourselves as best as we can.

We are confident that the Serbian IT crowd will recognize that we are a trustworthy partner, a great employer, and overall a benefit to the local IT community. IT Labs cares for each employee’s professional and personal goals, irrespective of the position or seniority, and I trust that approach will be highly appreciated by anyone who decides to become a part of our team.

ITL: How does one become a part of IT Labs? What does it take?

Nina: The recruitment process is very important for us as a company. We pay close attention to any candidate – regardless if it’s a someone fresh out of college, or a veteran in the IT world. Besides the technical part of the job interview, we also look for the core, personal values. With that in mind, our doors will always be open to candidates that share our values.

If a person is hired, depending on their previous experience, they will be taken through an onboarding process, and then in an adequate amount of time, they will get a taste of the IT Labs culture and MO. She or he will learn how we communicate and get to know the IT Labs way of working. After that, work on projects begins.

ITL: Is there room to grow in the company? Do employees get a chance to reach for their personal goals and achievements?

Nina: Growth is a natural process, right? It doesn’t make sense, nor is right, for the employees to not develop and grow parallel with the company. To us, the personal and professional growth of every individual is very important. It’s one of the key reasons why we encourage, stimulate, and enable this for every employee in every department.  We have an internal project called ‘The Happiness Strategy’, focused on finding the “needs & wants” of the people, and then engages in working towards them. Every person is unique in their needs and wants, and diversity in needs translates to diversity in quality, which in turn breeds innovation. It’s simple, really – give people support and the chance to express, and your teams will be better, stronger, and more efficient.

ITL: If you could name three things that answer the question “What differs IT Labs from other companies in the industry,” what would you say?

Nina: First of all, we’re unique in the way that we focus on solutions, not problems. We go that extra mile to find a new, creative way of dealing with various issues when working on a project. We find that little something that gives the client an edge in the market and helps his company in reaching its goals.

Second, we treat our people as our most valuable asset. This means that maintaining high morale and satisfaction among employees will always, and I mean always, translate in customer satisfaction. We go so far as to ensure our team members that the client gets 95% of their time. The other 5% are theirs to be used for personal growth.

And third, constant evolution, growth, and progress – we continuously share knowledge and have a quality mentorship program inside the company. Our “Ideas Lab” project enables employees inside the company to freely explore anything innovative, and exchange ideas and concepts. These are just some of the things we are proud to provide for our people, and call our own.

ITL: What do IT Labs bring to the IT community?

Nina: Valuable ideas, service, and an all-round contribution to growth. We draw strength through diversity, and it’s something we know various communities will benefit from. We’ve got quality people on our team, and we love to share their skills, experience, and wisdom with the community so we can all learn and grow together. The more differing opinions, ideas, and approaches, the better for all – inside or outside the company.

IT Labs’ people are continuously generating articles, comparisons on technologies, white papers, etc., most of which are published through our blog or web page, while we also do webinars, which are open to the public. Our IT Labs experts tackle pertinent issues and topics, and are up-to-date with all the goings in the tech world. This in turn helps us to try, test, implement, and work with new and existing tech. We’re also in close contact with educational institutions through our knowledge-sharing program. We also support non-profits and participate in a lot of community service-type activities as a team.

And finally, our flagship contribution to the tech community and great pride – ‘CTO Confessions with TC Gill’ – a podcast where well-known leaders from the industry all over the world share their experiences in the IT world, and their journey to the top.

ITL: You told us about the past and the present. Where do you see the company in the future?

Nina: Bigger. Better. Stronger. That’s what we strive for. Hard  work and dedication will be needed to get there, but considering how we’ve paved the way so far with the whole team, I know that in five years’ time, we’ll look back knowing we’ve achieved all our goals, and surpassed expectations. Bottom line is, we know what we need to do – keep developing and expanding this happy, diverse, innovation-driven bunch of people working here, and help them achieve their personal and professional goals in a friendly and radically-transparent environment!