Blokchain has finally been introduced into our lives. Nowadays, only the laziest people fail to discuss this technology. There are a lot of opinions about what we are in for in the very near future and what kind of impact blockchain will have. The founder of the first Russian service for managing business processes, based on this technology — www.iq300.io, Alexander Tkachov, shared his thoughts and speculations, as well as the prospects of the IT sector.
What do you consider to be the major threat to business in the 21st century? Perhaps, it is uncontrolled development of technologies, isn’t it? In your opinion, where are the main dangers to business hidden?
I think that nowadays globalization is the major threat to business. Currently, globalization implies using successful projects for the creation of serious financial monsters and business models that influence the market for the sake of personal interests of a certain small group of people, because of the nature that makes them unable to comprehensively put in perspective the state of business in a certain sector. Upswings in the economy are caused by such underestimation and misunderstanding. Global corporations are slow and inertial, so the number one threat is the lack of technologies that will enable to efficiently respond to a dynamic developing market and the world, in general.
As for the development of technologies, in my opinion, the main task of the modern economy is to reduce the time needed for implementing ideas and putting them into action. The time has come when it is impossible without using digital technologies and artificial intelligence. The question of how manageable their development should be seems to be open. It should be acknowledged that nowadays the information movement speed is so high that it is simply impossible to control everything — there are no tools for total control. Perhaps, they will occur someday, but currently we can claim that there is some kind of uncontrollability to a rather high degree, by the way.As for the development of technologies, in my opinion, the main task of the modern economy is to reduce the time needed for implementing ideas and putting them into action. The time has come when it is impossible without using digital technologies and artificial intelligence. The question of how manageable their development should be seems to be open. It should be acknowledged that nowadays the information movement speed is so high that it is simply impossible to control everything — there are no tools for total control. Perhaps, they will occur someday, but currently we can claim that there is some kind of uncontrollability to a rather high degree, by the way.
Do you believe in the digital future of Russia? Can we talk about some lagging behind foreign countries in terms of digitalization?
Yes. It seems to me that the digital future of our country is inevitable. Otherwise, the future of Russia will be questioned. Nowadays, there is no country with a live progressive economy that hasn’t digitized its data. And the greater the digitalization is, the more the market is accustomed to it, the more efficient the development of the economy is. And since the state has always been the core of the economy, the state is the one that must be the first to digitize itself. Otherwise, it becomes a burden to the economy. If Russia plans to keep up with foreign countries, the digitalization of the economy should become one of the priorities.
However, there is one serious problem that hinders the development of our country. And that is a very limited number of high quality and competent performers. We face a personnel gap over and over again. It is impossible to load the same performers forever. This is the main reason for our economy to lag behind successful models that are used in foreign countries.
What is more important for the manager: IQ, EQ or technology?
I’m pretty sure that the performance of people and machines is significantly reduced without modern technologies and putting them to good use. The technology of data comparison and finding the best solutions for business projects is currently the most important catalyst for all processes. No matter how confusing this may sound, it is obvious that the most experienced manager can’t even come close, while solving the set tasks, to technological solutions that comprise the experience and knowledge of many managers and specialists. Experienced managers and experts are the ones who create new technologies for doing business. Nowadays, technology is a symbiosis of intelligence and scientific achievements. This mix, in my opinion, is a truly efficient model that really works. And if you and your organization have learned to use technology in your section, I’m confident that in a while it will show results that differ from the results of your competitors in quality and quantity.
Which IT directions seem to be the most promising ones, in your opinion? Trends and predictions.
Artificial intelligence and Big Data are the things of the future. This will change the world in the very near future and unite everyone into a single collective intelligence, create an entirely different form of organization of people and technologies. Our IQ300 system is a vivid example of this hypothesis. The collaboration of even three people in one project provides us with a much better result than the most outstanding knowledge and experience of one person. As soon as we confirmed this effect, having analyzed the efforts and achievements shown, the prospects of the project www.iq300.io became clear — we should just introduce more and more new technologies into the existing platform: currently, it’s cryptography and cryptoeconomics, soon it will be Big Data and artificial intelligence, and we’ll see what happens next…
The IT sphere is developing dynamically, business processes are being optimized rapidly. What should a modern manager do to stay on top of the things?
Boldness is the feature of character that the manager of the 21st century should have first of all. Everything new is always scaring. Showing cards is always scary as well. However, if you have a choice of hiding something or showing it, what would you choose? I choose opening up. There were a lot of cases of different restrictions and iron curtains throughout history, but they have already shown uselessness of implementation. The most successful businesses were started at risk and with high hopes. Such projects are the most reliable nowadays. The ability to feel the right time and make bold decisions means to be the first, that is, “top of the things”.
What do you think about the potential of using end-to-end solutions for business tasks?
The age of ready-made solutions has already passed — they are too large and become outdated by the time of implementation, that’s why, our product focuses on adaptability: the system increases and acquires new functions along with the business that lives in it, and this is an ongoing process. It’s very interesting to watch how the business itself teaches our system to be useful due to simple activities. Users are the ones who develop the platform, and it begins to take on the majority functions, making professionals and managers free for intellectual work.
What are currently the most popular IQ300 end-to-end solutions? Is there something unique that you can offer to your users?
Programming business processes, creating project templates, transparency of business processes and team self-organization are the main, but not the only, virtues of IQ300. And the most important thing is that we motivate our users. The platform is built in such a way that it is impossible to remain uninvolved in success, and it is important for a person to see how the goal is achieved and to see a personal contribution to its achievement. As for being in demand, it’s a tough question. I can only confirm that the IQ300 platform and its functionality really found their customers. The system is in demand, it really works, it is discussed and recommended among colleagues and partners — this is an accomplished fact.
How do your customers benefit from IQ300?
It’s quite simple! Customers don’t overpay for unnecessary services, plan expenses for certain work of performers clearly and timely. All actions are controlled. We provide our clients with the opportunity to work in the most efficient way due to a competent system of partial payments and the formation of the expenditure part of the budget on the basis of such segmental payments. Nowadays, the most important thing for business is analyzing and comparing all costs, as well as being able to control them.
There is an opinion that in the very near future people will strive to cooperate with the companies that hide nothing concerning the blockchain technology, and, on the contrary, maintain documents, payments and so on openly. What do you think about it? What is your prediction?
Openness is inevitable. I’m sure that openness will give the next impetus to the development of mankind. However, there you shouldn’t confuse openness and confidentiality. The system should be 100% open, and users should 100% control the confidentiality of their data, as well as the data of their partners and customers. This is the main task for us. It is not that easy but we succeed in solving it.
What is the most interesting project on the blockchain for you personally?
IQ300BlockChain, of course (laughs). Seriously though, decentralization and credibility are the things that all good projects feature. We try to withstand competition, learn from others and share our experience with our users. Our task is to help all the people who decided to start their own business and risked to introduce new technologies of the digital age into their business. Such bold undertakings are the future of our country and of the entire planet.
This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication.