Igor Matich heads a Hamilton-based IT company that’s making a name for itself as a leader in the cloud services space – driving business efficiency through software. Dynamo6 has a powerful message for companies slow to transform to the digital world.
When Igor Matich’s family moved to New Zealand from Croatia in 1995, 15-year-old Igor had many harsh, and often brutal, realities of war imprinted in his mind.
When war had broken out five years previously, his family’s whole world had changed.
His father, a computer programmer, could see no future in Zagreb for his children – and with his skills in demand in New Zealand, it seemed the easiest place to emigrate to, despite being on the other side of the planet.
New Zealand represented total freedom from the horrors of conflict and a chance to make a new start.
Igor struggled to adjust to his new life – he had never had the chance to just be a kid back in his homeland. Five years of war had left their mark.
An IT degree helped satisfy his desire for problem solving and curiosity for how things worked, and so he launched into his 17-year (and counting) career in New Zealand’s IT industry.
Over the years he’s covered the whole gamut of IT – working for service providers and with internal IT teams in large organisations; moving from an technical ‘architect’ to team leader, to a CTO’s role when he was barely in his 30s.
Igor professes to having a ‘street punk’ attitude towards the IT industry, perhaps as a result of his childhood experiences. “I guess my ability to not be intimidated by situations, speaking my mind, and being able to rally people around me and deliver on promises, helped propel me forward,” he says.
His progression in the IT industry was timed nicely with the rise of cloud computing – how to add value around this new server-less platform for businesses.
He started Dynamo6 in Hamilton officially in 2013 with a view to how a future technology service provider would look like and thrive in the realm of cloud and digital services – and how he could provide value to customers in that space.
“The lesson for me has always been about the need to adapt to change. I believe the DNA of any company should include the ability to constantly disrupt yourself. Clients want that agility from you, and IT providers must respond to that need,” says Igor.
“That’s what Dynamo6 is all about.”
The name Dynamo6 originated through Igor’s passion for football. Sure, a dynamo generates energy, but ‘dynamo’ is also linked to Dinamo Zagreb – one of Igor’s favourite football teams.
The ‘6’ refers to the six degrees of separation in business, which Igor believes is brought even closer through technology. The ‘dot-com’ domain name was also available – which tied in nicely with his ambitions to one day expand overseas.
Today Dynamo6 has offices in Hamilton and Auckland and 20 employees – and specialises in cloud, mobile, web development and digital technology, primarily for medium to large organisations.
IT has become a core component of any business, Igor emphasises, and once his business had initially established trust and proven itself in terms of service performance there’s been no looking back.
Dynamo6 helps organisations and businesses move into a cloud environment. The emotional barriers to the cloud have come down, but there is still a long way to go until widespread adoption. Igor believes many smaller businesses are being held back by their incumbent IT provider.
“Business owners, to a large extent, are ill-informed,” he says. “For many, delays in adopting the cloud is just fear of the unknown.”
Igor believes the companies that will thrive in 2018 are those that can recognise that technology brings new sources of revenue; that can get over existing culture obstacles and see it as an opportunity to improve productivity.
“Companies can carry a lot of ‘technical debt’ – stuff that’s no longer delivering value, but is hard to let go.”
Fortunately, he says, increasing numbers of boards and business leaders are now change-agents for the adoption of cloud-based and digital technologies.
It’s about data
Digital transformation is impacting the business landscape. That’s the reality. And Igor wants to see companies take a bold approach to its adoption.
Leaders now look to extract better customer data and make more informed decisions, as well as create better value around user experiences.
“We now look at points of value that we can deliver to clients very quickly using cloud tools, and inevitably that comes back to mining better data,” says Igor.
He understands why there is anxiety around technology change. He says many larger organisations are first creating small cloud pockets of excellence and innovation, which reduces some of the stress and anxiety around change.
“It’s about looking at what they’ve actually achieved, and then growing and transitioning those achievements to the wider business,” he says.
Igor adds that it’s tough enough for his company to keep up with the pace of change as a business partner, let alone organisations stuck in BAU (business as usual) mode, who must work out how new technologies apply to their business.
The culture and people have been key to Dymamo6’s success, believes Igor, along with his willingness to take calculated risks.
With his passion for football, Igor’s found that team dynamics came naturally to him. He’s never been a fan of the ‘top down’ corporate approach. “I believe you win and you fail as a team.”
He doesn’t see the business as his own baby either. Rather it’s something the whole team is creating together.
“In the service business, you’re only as good as your people,” he says.
That said, your team can’t be all full of superstars either, he explains. But, just like a football team, everyone has a vital role to play. Everyone is an important contributor.
Perhaps the biggest challenge he’s had with the business is realising that progress takes longer than expected. A lot of that is to do with the fact that partnerships between companies and their IT service providers are so embedded. Igor says separating those loyalties can be akin to a divorce.
Meanwhile, for companies, new cloud-enabled technologies are unstoppable because they make life, and business easier. It’s pointless to resist by retaining legacy systems, says Igor.
“Companies that are ignorant around digital disruption for them … well, it just hasn’t hit them yet, or they haven’t realised where it’s all heading.”
Change is constant; nobody is immune to technology, he says. But you don’t need to understand everything.
“Sometimes the less you know about the ‘how’ the better.”