The end of the year is often a time for reminiscing and reflecting on past experiences before gearing up for the new year – and sure enough, this feeling of gratitude is ever greater this December, as 3stepIT celebrates its 20th birthday.
What more can I say – it’s been quite a ride. What started off as two men’s shared idea for improving IT lifecycle management has matured into a leading player in circular economy, with over 350 employees and 4,000 customers globally. How did we manage to grow from a small Nordic company into a major contender in international markets?
In our early days, we quickly recognised that you couldn’t talk about cost savings without considering sustainability – a connection that wasn’t as apparent back in the 90s as it is today. Making use of this relationship allowed us to think beyond recycling and emerge as pioneers in circular economy before the term gained credence in the IT field. This path of pioneership is one that we’re still on today.
Having said this, we doubt whether 3 Step IT could have been born outside of Finland, a nation that has always acknowledged the relationship between economic and environmental success. This provided the right climate for developing our business into a model, which could later be exported. However, the width of the challenges we hoped to solve meant we couldn’t restrict our operations to just one country. Whilst Finland was (and still is) an important home base for 3 Step IT, we knew from the beginning that our ambitions would eventually outgrow our roots. As a result, internationalisation was never just a choice for us – it was the only option.
However, looking back on these 20 years, I’m proud not only of our expansion beyond our borders, but perhaps most importantly of the growth within our walls. I find myself constantly humbled by the persistence of our personnel. Stories of staff working their way through warehouses into executive positions demonstrate the power of ambition and inquisitiveness, which have no doubt served as engines of our success. Sustainable growth and development is encoded in our DNA – a promise that is not only reserved for our partners, but our personnel, too.
A prerequisite of this is, naturally, an open and honest work environment that celebrates hard work but is equally appreciative of a good laugh. I’m glad that our growth has not come at the expense of enjoyment – and to be honest, I doubt such a path would be worth pursuing at all.
The world as we know it has changed significantly over these past 20 years. We’re glad that the solutions we helped trail blaze are seen as all the more relevant today, but we understand that this means that our work is nowhere near done. So while we may raise a glass today, you can be sure we’ll be back at work tomorrow – because 20 years makes for a great beginning, but it’s by no means a finished book.