Dmitri Tcherevik, CTO at Progress, is a serial entrepreneur, having founded and run two successful technology start-ups — most recently MightyMeeting, a cloud-based mobile collaboration platform.
Before that he founded Infostoria, a collaboration and content integration platform, which was acquired by FatWire in 2007. Post-acquisition Dmitri served as CTO at FatWire, where he helped to define the market around Web Experience Management, until FatWire’s strategic sale to Oracle in 2011.
Tcherevik also spent nearly 10 years leading emerging technology development at CA, as a Vice President in the office of the CTO.
By way of background — Progress is a global enterprise technology company. Its solutions provide customers the ability to facilitate enterprise integration, data interoperability and application development, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) enablement and delivery and have reputable customers such as NASA, Schneider Electric and Infor.
Progress have enabled their customers to leverage IoT and AI for predictive maintenance and cognitive computing in industries such as healthcare, oil & gas, transport, manufacturing, financial services, technology and software.
Today’s businesses are under pressure to deploy and deliver apps faster relying on the developer skills they have. Progress, ultimately, provides a cloud-based high-productivity platform for mission critical business applications. With the help of the platform, teams of UX designers, developers, data scientists and operations managers can collaborate effectively to deliver complex solutions on time and under budget — without vendor lock-in.
Setting the vision, strategy and direction — the CTO’s role
‘A dual role’
Tcherevik has “a dual role” at Progress.
He is responsible for defining the overall product strategy for the company, as well as leading a growth business unit that pursues emerging business opportunities.
“A significant part of my role is focused on driving innovation both in our culture as a company and in our product development,” he says.
“Innovation, creativity and collaboration have always been at the heart of everything we do. To further inspire and challenge our teams, last year under my leadership we established our internal incubator, Progress Labs. It is designed to identify and nurture the best ideas from Progress employees and bring them to market as new technologies. We have many exciting projects being developed in Progress Labs. Some of the them include blockchain technology, VR/AR, microapps. This is a great opportunity for our employees to experiment, test and see their ideas turn into real business products – and all this with our support.”
‘Technology, progress and people’
Progress is a player in a very dynamic industry, admits Tcherevik. And, the lifecycle of a business application is becoming shorter and shorter. In order to succeed in this environment, the CTO must be adept at operating in three areas: “technology, processes, and people”.
“First, we must ensure that the latest innovations in technology are deployed to deliver the most value to our customers. CTOs must think strategically when spearheading a new initiative, and also have the technical knowledge on the latest innovations when integrating it to the project.”
The CTO role: ‘It’s about planning and business opportunities’
“Second, the CTO is responsible for designing and deploying the most effective and efficient process for taking product ideas from inception to deployment. While the CTO is a leader, being a team-player is vital to understand what decisions need to be made that benefit their employees and customers.”
“Finally, the CTO must ensure that all stakeholders involved are fully on-board through an open-line of communication.”
Moving fast without breaking things
“The biggest challenge is moving fast without breaking things,” according to Tcherevik.
“In the start-up world, the rapid pace of innovation sometimes leads to unintended and harmful consequences. This is accepted as a given. Start-ups are expected to innovate end iterate themselves out of any problem. Options are more limited at a more established organisation. Our platform supports thousands of mission critical business applications. Some of them are life critical. We must match the pace of innovation that is set by the start-ups, but we cannot afford to break things.”
A unique CTO: Helping the technical community navigate in the open
The ultimate integrator
The CTO is the ultimate integrator at any company.
“The role will continue evolving in to the one that is critical for ensuring not only integration across product lines, but also effective communication and collaboration across functions and business units,” concludes Tcherevik.