Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

[caption id="attachment_84247" align="alignleft" width="214"] Oksana Sokolovsky[/caption]

Below is our interview with Oksana Sokolovsky, Founder and CEO at Io-Tahoe LLC:

What does your company do?

Io-Tahoe is a pioneer in machine learning-driven smart data discovery solutions. We are focused on building the best solution, because data discovery is the fundamental requirement for all other data disciplines.

Using our machine learning-driven technology, we help enterprises auto discover data relationships throughout their organization; and empower them to manage their data assets. We also enable organizations to meet their GDPR requirements. What makes us unique is our approach to discovering data relationships, by looking at the data itself, not just metadata. Additionally, Io-Tahoe works across relational data instances and data lakes, uniquely bridging these two data worlds to paint an accurate picture of the complex data landscape.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

I'm the CEO of Io-Tahoe LLC. Every day I'm extremely grateful to be in this position. I love the pace and high energy of a start-up environment. I also enjoy educating the industry on our product, actively engaging with the market, customers and analysts and seeing the awareness of our brand and product grow within the industry. Having spent over 20 years in IT at some of the world's largest investment banks, where I was responsible for driving transformation, now I take great satisfaction in making my vision a reality and seeing Io-Tahoe help organizations address their data discovery and data management challenges.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

Running a start-up will always present challenges, but we run a lean operation. This gives us the flexibility to adapt quickly. We test, learn and the apply the findings. Actively engaging with the market, listening to customers and analysts, and building this feedback into our product roadmap, means we continuously develop our product where needed. With the upcoming EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), one of our additional challenges is helping companies realize they need to act now. The GDPR is a complex piece of regulation and it's the most important change in data privacy regulations in 20 years.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

I would advise that we shouldn't be afraid to take risks, don't worry about challenging the status quo, and become comfortable with change quickly Ð it's the only constant in life, professionally (and personally). It's also important to remember that business opportunities can come from the most unexpected places or people, always evaluate such opportunities as they could set your career on a completely different course or trajectory. The last piece of advice I would give is that hard work always pays off, always strive for success.