Meet the Team: Henrik Berg, CTO Verdane Elevate

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The Verdane Meet the Team series

Our Meet the Team series explores the different skillsets, professional backgrounds, and contributions of Verdane’s investment team, operational experts and business service professionals.

In this edition we introduce Henrik Berg, newly appointed CTO for Verdane Elevate, our in-house operational consultancy supporting our holdings on key growth initiatives.

Hi, Henrik! Please tell us a little bit about your background.

I have 24 years of experience in leading and scaling growth businesses and software development organisations through innovation and new technology, scaling tech teams onshore as well as offshore and adopting agile methodologies, including product owner responsibilities, quality assurance and distributed scrum teams. Basically, helping companies deliver innovative technology supporting the business goals. What drives me is seeing people and teams evolve while working towards a common goal, and I really enjoy the combination of technology and business.

I joined Verdane from Quinyx, a mobile-first workforce management solutions company, where I spent seven years as CTO and Senior Solutions Architect in a capacity as VP of Technical Business Development. In those seven years, Quinyx grew 30% per year and went from 30 to 200 employees with offices across Northern Europe and the US. As CTO, I headed our move from co-located hosting to Amazon AWS, reformed the agile methods and scaled the technology team from 10 to 40 team members. During my last 4 years at Quinyx I got the opportunity to work with many multinational customers across Europe, utilising insights from those initiatives to help drive innovative solutions and even faster growth for our own organisation.

And now, I help Verdane’s portfolio of growth companies to scale their technology departments.

What drew you to Verdane?

I was not planning to leave Quinyx at all, but this is a really exciting opportunity to support multiple growth journeys simultaneously. I believe in the value of cross pollination between organisations, and through the Verdane universe I get to realise that cross pollination between product and development departments through sharing best practice and by building a network of highly skilled and knowledgeable contacts.

What are your responsibilities going to be, and how will you develop the business at Verdane in your capacity as CTO of Verdane Elevate?

Successful growth companies need to ensure scalability across two parameters: their technology, which allows them to deliver a consistent performance or end-user experience in the face of rapidly increasing numbers of users, and scalable methodology, which is about managing how the team itself needs to grow, prioritise and handle requirements and product management for their growth vision to become possible. Also, making sure that we clear out any technical debt or challenges to growth further down the line at the earliest possible moment. So my job is to help those of our companies that want to assess their maturity across those parameters, identify what needs to be done to achieve sufficient maturity, and then help them execute their plan to get there.

What are three important considerations for growth companies you tend to focus on?

To keep up growth momentum and keep pace with market requirements, I like to focus three areas:

  • Team: You need a team and a methodology where everyone understands the objectives through good communication, takes responsibility for the final delivery, has access to the right tools for delivery and are trained for the skills needed.
  • Scalability: This needs to be valid for both the product, service or platform that you are delivering, but also for the organisation itself. For the technical scalability and performance, you need to use platforms, tools and frameworks like cloud platforms, automated testing, serverless/micro services architecture and CI/CD tools and processes. For the scaling of the organisation you need to be prepared and have a plan for adding team members, working in parallel teams and maybe have geographically distributed teams with a good mix of development, quality assurance and product management capabilities.
  • Innovation: In the transition from startup to growth company, many companies struggle to move from customer orientated to market orientated. By shifting focus to what the market needs rather than what current customers are asking for, you can broaden your customer base. Find the time to innovate, research market trends and combine your own expertise with new tools and trends like Machine Learning and AI. If you successfully combine lowered costs, access to powerful computing and data mining, you can start delivering functionality customers didn’t even know to ask for.

Lastly, remembering that at the end of the day this is a people business and that winners create customer success cultures where our companies and teams act as extensions of their clients’ businesses to collaborate and solve real problems.

Henrik Berg can be reached via email on henrik[dot]