Helsinki Airport - Software Sauna

The Year of Growth

Yet another “corona year” has come to an end. A year ago, we were all talking about the “new normal” and how remote work is here to stay, but also how things would get back to the “old normal” during 2021. Little did we know back then. Although things have started to look brighter with vaccines, and both businesses and people believe in the future again. This can be seen in the IT sector at the moment as business opportunities have skyrocketed since last spring. 

Our Sauna team never went back to the office, and though we have been talking about the hybrid mode, most of us have stayed fully remote until today. Considering the current situation, this mode will last for some time. The constant remote mode luckily didn’t prevent us from organizing team meetings over the summer and autumn, not to forget the great Christmas party we had a month ago. Keeping up the team spirit and being able to meet your colleagues is still something we all need and want to cherish.

We have also been talking about the possible new office, a real home of Sauna, with the team, and I truly hope we will accomplish this plan in 2022. That should be a place for our people to meet each other, hold workshops and meet-ups, teamwork, pair programming, or play board games and enjoy refreshments. But we shall never go back to full office mode again. Software Sauna is both, a hybrid and fully remote company, just as our people prefer.

Reflecting on business in 2021

Exactly one year ago, I was anticipating us even to triple our turnover and double our headcount in 2021. Well, that didn’t happen. Though personally, I believe it’s always better to set the bar high enough, and when you do your job properly, you can reach the skies one day. Sauna’s turnover grew 83% while the headcount reached ca. 60% growth.

“The beach” was again a small challenge for us between projects, as we didn’t manage to reallocate some developers efficiently enough between their assignments. We also faced some momentary challenges in recruitment for the very first time in Sauna’s history. That was a clear consequence of the IT market skyrocketing globally last year. We saw a huge increase in new business opportunities in Q2, but unfortunately, we could not answer all market requests. On the other hand, we were not the only ones in that situation.

The bright right side of business development in 2021 was that our existing projects grew, and we were able to scale up the client teams in many cases. Also, by the end of the year, the situation in the talent market balanced, and we just hired three new experienced developers in the first week of 2022. We are also looking forward to hiring at least five new developers by the end of February!

2021 was a kind of a turning point for Software Sauna, as we reached the magical 20 developers level, opened new markets, and the size of our client teams grew from 1-2 developers up to 6 per project. 

I am truly happy to see that our way of working and the Nordic company culture are things that attract and resonate with local talent in the region. The combination of Croatian and Balkan software craftsmanship skills with a Finnish twist is working, and it results in high-quality end to end software solutions.

We wish a great and successful 2022 to everyone! And hopefully, we can sail together into the sunset this year in the Adriatic sea.

Highlights of 2021:

  • Profitable growth in revenue continued
  • Reached the magical 20 developers level in projects
  • Dedicated teams and full ownership in projects 
  • 16 new customers 
  • Focus on Health and EdTech business domains continued
  • First publicly listed client 
  • Opened Norwegian and Swedish markets 
  • Awesome billboard at the Helsinki airport 🙂  

Once again, BIG thanks to all our customers and partners for your trust! Let’s aim even higher this year. 

Saunamajuri Ilkka-Cristian

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