Martin de Martini co-founded Y Soft with Vaclav Muchna. As CIO, Martin oversees the company’s global IT and system integration teams, project managers and Y Soft’s internal and external standardization processes while continuing to evangelize new technologies. Here he shares his thoughts on digital transformation, Y Soft’s 6 Attitudes (core values) and how ‘failure’ is really a path to growth and success.
What was your first job? Since Y Soft started while I was still in college, I didn’t have the opportunity to work for any other company. I had a few summer jobs unrelated to IT (such as bottling pickled gherkins and selling construction tools), but back then I already knew that having a boss was not going to be my way of life … and ironically, now I have many thousands of bosses by means of our customers.
Did you always want to work in IT? Yes and no. As a little kid I wanted to be a garbage man. It seemed kind of cool to ride the truck. During high school, I was into chemistry and I seriously considered a career in bio-chemistry. Through the preparation work, I became indirectly involved with PC programming (until then I used computers only for video games) and I’ve been absolutely mesmerized by the fact I can tell the computer what to do with few basic commands.
Tell us about your career path. With our new company, I really started as a developer and created the first version of our core product. Then I became head of the software development team and then CTO. However, our company grew way faster than our (and my) managerial skills. I stepped down to make way for an experienced manager and moved toward where my [skills were best suited] – the product management and consultancy for our biggest customers. Then, two years ago we were challenged with a global ERP implementation that was near to becoming a disaster and I was nominated by our board as the best one to handle it. So, through my experience with global deliveries and implementation of our products I [found my way to] the back office.
What business or technology initiatives will be most significant in driving IT investments in your organization in the coming year? In the short term I’m planning a huge renewal of our data center to automate our DevOps. As we are moving deeper and deeper toward agile development and continuous integration, we need to have the infrastructure and tools to support that and need it to be able to grow with us. That means I’m looking into investing in a software defined data center that can initially run over 1,000 virtual computers easily and has connectivity to public clouds for offloading larger scale tests. Spending the money is the easy part. Making sure we utilize the investment in terms that adds real value to our business is the tricky part. In the longer term, office workflow automation tools, automatization for production (aka industry 4.0) and cloud technologies (we have quite few already).