Once again, the time has come to sum up the year 2020, the exceptional year that surprised us all for sure! The year was quite eventful in both a positive and negative sense. Despite all the uncertainty and related changes, we managed to grow our business and the number of employees significantly this year. Before we turn our gaze to the coming year 2021 (which I am already very much looking forward to), I wrote down a few things and feelings about this year.
What happened in 2020
Although the epidemic struck quite surprisingly, we were able to quickly and flexibly change our operations to 100% remote mode. For us, remoting is nothing new and we have been quite flexible about where our employees are working. It really doesn’t matter where the job is done, as long as it works and above all, the customer’s expectations are met – or exceeded!
We noticed that full remoting mode calms the workday, as unnecessary meetings were left out of the calendar and traveling decreased. This supports our mission for sustainable software development, as one of the main themes is to minimize the waste of unnecessary work and time.
The lockdown put us on our toes for a while, as I can imagine it happened in every company, and we paused to analyze the risks and how the situation would develop. However, the uncertainty regarding the autumn subsided after the summer holidays, and the situation in our operations quickly returned to normal. During the fall, we recruited 14 new employees and the end of the year has been really successful. We gained a strong foothold, especially in the smart city and education industry sectors. We are expecting a busy next year.
In the early autumn, we got to cheer about a great success!
Digitization is still heavily invested, and it has been great to notice that IT has not been the primary area of savings. Customers have also understood (perhaps a bit forced) the importance of digitalization for the long-term success of the business. Every company requires business strategy renewal regularly, and digitalization is a great accelerator and enabler.
The people are our greatest asset
Due to exceptional circumstances and remoting, investments in personnel have played an even bigger role in the past year. We have strived to maintain a strong organizational culture with various wellness and after-work activities, e.g. weekly yoga and game evenings. Next year, we want to invest even more strongly in the health of our employees, supporting well-being and resilience in expert work.
In early autumn we were able to organize fun climbing outdoor events in both Turku and Helsinki. We organized our pre-Christmas party in remote mode, and thanks to the innovative organizers, the evening was really amusing. A year ago a remote Christmas party would have sounded quite unbelievable. :)
Next year I hope that at some point we will be able to return to the more “traditional” physical office mode again, as Anders spirit is an important part of our organizational culture, and face to face encounters are important to all of us. At the beginning of the year we moved our Helsinki office to Mannerheimintie (in the city center) so it would be nice to get to utilize these facilities as well.
Andersians climbing afternoon at Mustikkamaa.
Plannings for sustainable growth
Our service offering will expand even more strongly to consulting next year. In addition, we have expanded our DevOps team and productized our own DevOps practices into services, scaling from training, and consulting to development work.
We’ll focus on making sustainable solutions by combining an understanding of the business concept, digital vision, agile development, and the DevOps operating model. We believe that digitalization will continue as a significant part of companies’ investments next year as well, and we have already seen this trend rising at the end of this year.
Back to the future?
We really hope that will soon return to normal, as the epidemic has unfortunately hit really hard to certain industries and the economy in general. Fortunately, successful innovations have also been seen during exceptional circumstances, where technology has once again played a major role. Online stores, sharing platforms, live streams have made it possible, at least partly, for businesses to continue and adapt to the new normal.
This year, as part of our corporate responsibility strategy, we donated together with our employees to Save the Children Finland’s Christmas fundraiser to support low-income families and children’s hobbies.
I’m really grateful for Andersians, who have done a great job for our company. I wish everyone a truly relaxing Christmas and a busy start to the next year!
On the behalf of Anders,