CTO - Jusa Isopahkala - Interview

Smartvatten's leap into Watermanagement 

Water is the source of life, yet in today’s world, its conservation has become a critical challenge. Smartvatten, a company at the forefront of technological innovation in water management, was born from this very challenge. As told by the company's Chief Technology Officer, the genesis of Smartvatten's product line was the urgent need to report water consumption in real time, a significant leap from the once-a-year reports that were the norm. 

Evolving with the Flow
"Our goal was clear: we wanted to transform the way water consumption data is tracked and analyzed," states the CTO. This led to the development of a retrofit solution that not only monitors water usage but also detects leaks, thereby preventing water wastage and promoting sustainability. 
This vision, however, evolved rapidly. The initial pilot, while successful in reporting consumption data, revealed a critical issue – significant water leakage in some properties. "That was a turning point for us," the CTO explains, "We had to pivot our focus to include alarming functionalities for water leakage situations." This adaptability is a hallmark of Smartvatten's ethos, constantly developing services based on customer needs and innovation. 

Overcoming development rapids
When discussing challenges, the CTO doesn't shy away from admitting the difficulties faced, especially those brought about by external changes. Whether hardware or software-related, the company tackled these head-on. "One particularly tough challenge was when a supplier closed a critical infrastructure service," he shares. "It forced us to prioritize renewing a significant part of our backend infrastructure. But with a solid plan and step-by-step execution, we turned challenges into successes." 

"Our service has been shaped by the problems our customers face

Agile in the Waters of Change
The agile methodology underpins Smartvatten’s development process, emphasizing speed and flexibility. "We aim to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) swiftly to understand the problem better and fine-tune our development trajectory," says the CTO, reflecting their nimble and responsive approach to product development. 

Listening to customers has been etched into the company's DNA. "Our service has been shaped by the problems our customers face," the CTO states, underscoring the importance of customer feedback in their development process. This customer-centric approach has been intrinsic to Smartvatten's early development days and continues to be a cornerstone of their strategy. 

Jusa Isopahkala - CTO Smartvatten

Riding the Wave of Emerging Technologies
In the realm of technology and innovation, the CTO's eyes light up when discussing AI. "It's a hot topic," he quips, "and we're exploring opportunities to leverage AI across our technological and functional teams." The company stands out with its scalable solutions, going the extra mile to solve water-related issues, which not only sets them apart but also cements their commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Creating a culture of innovation within the team is not just about technological prowess; it's about fostering a space where individuals can pursue their interests and develop their competencies. "It's about enabling people to focus on what they're good at or what they want to improve," he states, which has been instrumental in nurturing a creative and problem-solving environment. 

Cultivating a Sea of Innovation
The essential skills for someone in the tech team go beyond mere technical knowledge. "A good attitude, motivation, and cultural fit are just as important," the CTO emphasizes, highlighting the value placed on continuous learning and adaptability. 

Looking forward, Smartvatten is not resting on its laurels. The CTO outlines ambitious goals, including a complete overhaul of the customer portal and developing new services for water utilities. "Our focus on scalability and deployment in new geographies will keep us ahead of the competition," he asserts, with a strategic eye on the future. 

Preparing for the Uncharted Waters
Anticipating challenges is part of the game, and for Smartvatten, managing technical debt and resource prioritization will be pivotal. "With limited resources, making smart choices is crucial, but I believe in our team's capability to tackle future challenges," he says confidently. 

In closing, the CTO reflects on his journey from the early startup days to the current growth phase of the company. "Transitioning from hands-on tech development to a more managerial role has been a significant shift," he shares, underscoring the importance of communication and the ability to 'translate' between technical jargon and everyday language. 

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