Work at TBI Info
Software can enhance the manager’s performance, make it more effective but cannot replace him, said Julian Masliankov, General Manager at TBI Info.
Mr. Maslyankov, how are managers and management in Bulgaria changing over the past 15 years since you are on the market?
– The main change is related to the fact that managers become more informed. The thing that changes is the speed they gain information which enables them to process it quickly.
Things are very dynamic today – much faster, at a higher speed, much more comprehensive and connected. The Bulgarian membership in the EU as well as the opportunities for education abroad also affect this.
Penetration of digital technologies has become a cornerstone in management services. As for the competition of the business environment and its impact on managers, it has become much more aggressive. But at the same time, competition existed decades ago. Bulgaria’s membership in the EU has also brought some negative effects to the management.
The problem comes with over regulation. The more regulated a market is, the more manipulated it is. This is one of the reasons for Europe to lose its positions on markets like USA, China, Russia and Israel where innovations and new technologies develop quite fast. In Europe this is done on paper- administratively with directives and not by creating a good business environment. EU funds are also a type of regulation for the development of certain sectors. I am not optimistic about the future of the EU, it is time- worn. The alternative is to wake up.
What is the speed of bulgarian business at present and how can new technologies accelerate its’ development quickly and risk-free?
-We are moving at the slowest speed. And there are many reasons why. In terms of business management new technologies happen very slowly.
According to official surveys within EU, Bulgaria is ranked at the bottom of the list in terms of business system penetration. We have very good professionals in the technology sector and it is developing on a world level, but it is performing for business abroad, not for business in Bulgaria. Bulgarian business has to realize that it must invest in innovation and modern software systems in the first place. New technologies can speed up the business if the managers turn in this direction and start implementing it. The technologies are now changing at an incredible speed, becoming more and more accessible. The penetration of cloud technologies and outsourcing gives entrepreneurs exceptional opportunities. But the Bulgarian business does not take advantage of them. Business in Europe is also moving at a slow pace. The reasons are restrictions and regulations that reduce competitiveness. Europe has a very narrow-minded point of view.
I was shocked by a survey, that 47% of workers in Austria will retire this year within the same company they started work, on the same chair … We are in hibernation!
A global study shows that after 2020 we will benefit from the knowledge we have for only 18 months after their acquisition. Knowledge ages quickly. Everything goes IT, everything goes in that direction. Recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2017, experts predicted that services would become the world’s leading business after 2030. In just 13 years we will be buying more services that goods, and most products and services will form their price based on subscription. This is already true for cloud technologies.
What do you think about the forecast that in 2025, 85 % of customer service will be done without any human intervention?
Are the managers in Bulgaria ready for this challenge?
– The managers are prepared, but the employees should prepare themselves accordingly. Because they have to qualify, create and manage such solutions and machines. Such things are being implemented at the moment. Examples are so-called chatbots that optimize customer service in many companies.
Business and industry digitalization happen at a very fast pace.
The problem is that Bulgarian business has fallen behind in terms of implementing new technologies. As for management – they have to be proactive, to take chances and dare to risk. The bigger the risk- the better the chance to win.
To what degree have Big Data, Cloud technologies and Industry 4.0 entered the Bulgarian business and what are the areas of application that you expect to see?
-Fourth industrial revolution is a worldwide trend that is relatively new in many countries as well as in Bulgaria. These technologies will develop further and haven’t reached their full potential yet. They have multiple applications. What is Big Data? It is the massive unstructured data which every human creates. It is generated through smart cars, smart watches, smart phones, smart TVs. All these accumulate data about our behaviour.
Based on this information a model is created, which is then used to analyse this data and create forecast on our reactions in different situations, what needs do we have or how do we solve a problem. After the data is generated it is stored in the “cloud”, available to the business.
As far as its application goes, it has penetrated in all kinds of services. I am positive that in the field of medicine it has a huge potential.
How soon until this new software will be replacing humans on managing positions? And in what type of business in Bulgaria are these new tools used instead of people?
-It won’t be soon. Software can assist a manager’s job, making it more effective, but it cannot replace him completely. The task of the manager is to manage people. As a human I cannot imagine how a software machine can replace the manager in his/her job. At least not during my lifetime. Low-skilled jobs, ordinary and repetitive actions can easily be replaced by software. Soon the Java developers will fade away. The code itself will be generated by software. And this is ongoing now.
Today’s developers, will undertake more elaborate operations than creating and coding architectures. Apparently the managers will remain irreplaceable.
Which is the next level in the development of integrated software solutions according to you?
-Everything goes completely or partially in the “cloud”. This stage has just started. We are now only at the beginning of the “cloud” transfer. It will be another 5 to 10 years until this process is completed. Unfortunately in Bulgaria we haven’t even started the process of integrating smart software, let alone “migrating it in the cloud”. The business is in urgent need of faster economic digitalisation.