For nearly a decade now, Ukraine has been one of the top destinations for IT outsourcing and outstaffing in Eastern Europe. Things have taken a drastic turn last February, but did the full-scale invasion actually hinder the country’s IT export? The short answer is no, it did not.
Most custom software development companies have managed to maintain and even increase their productivity, clients continue to work with IT outstaffing companies in Ukraine, and the industry as a whole does well despite all odds. More so, working with Ukrainian businesses has become an ethical choice for many companies across the globe, strengthening the country’s IT industry and further boosting its growth potential.
Today, we are going to take a look at the more tangible factors that attract global business toward IT outstaffing in Ukraine. We will also discuss the key factors for choosing a perfect software development partner and the necessary steps to make to ensure seamless and efficient cooperation with your vendor.
Ukrainian IT market: thriving in the toughest times
Prior to the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has been one of Easter Europe’s biggest and most lucrative IT hubs. Surprisingly, after a year of fighting, the local digital service industry is getting stronger than ever. The Ukrainian IT sector has shown impressive resilience in the face of seemingly impossible odds and according to the National Bank of Ukraine, IT service export has grown by 20% compared to pre-invasion numbers. Here are some facts demonstrating the state of the Ukrainian IT sector:
- Most software development companies had an emergency plan in place prior to the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The country’s industry leaders, including N-iX, have relocated their employees to safer regions in the west and helped female workers with relocation abroad.
- Of Ukraine’s 285,000 software developers, more than 50,000 (mostly women) moved abroad and continue to work from locations overseas.
- According to the Economist, only 2% of the country’s software companies have folded in 2022.
- The country’s leading IT companies have managed to restore pre-war productivity rates in a matter of months. As stated by Andrew Pavliv, CEO and founder of N-iX, the company returned to its pre-war productivity levels by the end of March 2022 and continued to grow since.
- Almost 40,000 engineering and ICT graduates enter the market yearly, granting a constant inflow of fresh talent.
Moreover, Ukraine has one of the most developed IT services markets with a rather attractive price-to-value ratio. An impressive number of international tech leaders, including Microsoft, eBay, Samsung, Skype, and many others, have chosen Ukraine as their outstaffing or outsourcing partner and did not suspend their cooperation with local experts.
In terms of IT outstaffing, Ukraine is one of the most desired destinations. The size of the IT outstaffing services market in Ukraine is impressive. So, how do you choose a reliable outstaffing vendor among Ukrainian companies? Here are the most critical factors to consider.
7 key factors for choosing a reliable IT outstaffing company in Ukraine
Selecting an IT outstaffing company in Ukraine is a process that did not change much, even in the face of the ongoing events. The only real concern you need to take seriously is the location of the development centers. The best course of action, right now, is to work with the vendors located in the country’s western regions. Other than that, here are some factors for choosing a reliable partner:
1. Industry and tech expertise
When looking for an IT outstaffing company in Ukraine, it is essential to consider the technical and domain knowledge they can provide. For instance, if you need to transition from an on-premise system to the cloud, evaluate the firm's cloud experience. That would be the main priority for your particular business, so you should review their portfolio and see if they have worked on similar projects.
You must also plan ahead and prepare for the possible increase in the project’s scope when partnering with any outstaffing company Ukraine has to offer. As your project increases in complexity, so too will the technology needed to support it. Look for an outsourcing partner who has broad technology expertise, so that when you need to add new experts to the team, you won’t have to look for another vendor.
2. Company size
When you are looking for an outstaffing partner, you want a team of professionals to start working on your solutions as soon as possible. Company size has a positive correlation with how fast your cooperation starts. Medium and large-size vendors can ensure quicker staffing.
IT outstaffing in Ukraine becomes even easier, as the country leads in the number of IT companies among others.
Moreover, to handle an increasing workload and avoid bottlenecks, sometimes, there is a need to expand the team temporarily. Bigger companies can quickly scale their development teams as they have more resources and a considerable talent pool. At N-iX, we have a team of over 2,000 developers, and we are constantly on the lookout for more talent.
3. Awards and industry recognition
Industry recognition is an important factor that determines the trustworthiness and service quality of the IT outstaffing partner. You should pay extra attention to the designations aligned with the vendor's tech expertise. For example, a company providing .NET expertise should be certified by Microsoft Azure. Also, partnerships with major tech organizations such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud are also a sign of the company’s reliability.
4. Security and safety
Data loss, phishing attacks, and corporate information leakage are serious problems for any type of business. That is exactly why you need to focus on finding an IT outstaffing company in Ukraine that has strong security policies in place. Almost any outstaffing company Ukraine has to offer has legal teams to ensure they comply with all international regulations and best security practices. It will help you prevent cybersecurity issues like infrastructure vulnerability, phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, and more. Look for a company compliant with key international Infosecurity standards such as ISO 27001, PCI DSS, HIPAA, etc.
Another critical factor to consider in times of full-scale invasion is the physical safety of the company and its employees. As mentioned earlier, most companies moved their operations to relative safety in the western regions of the country. Right now, the best idea is to stick to the companies that operate development centers in the western regions as well as abroad. For instance, N-iX operates globally ensuring the security of the teams and uninterrupted project delivery.
5. Client's feedback
The reviews from former and current clients can tell a lot about the quality level the company provides. You can do a small research right when scrolling the vendor’s website — usually, companies have a separate page for client testimonials. You can also check out the reviews on such platforms as Clutch, Google, and social media.
6. Communication level
In Ukraine, 79% of developers have an Intermediate or higher level of English, according to a DOU survey. With reasonably high English proficiency levels across the industry, you will have no problems communicating with local experts.
Communication is also about mature business practices and experience in cooperation with international partners. Ukrainian businesses swiftly adopt global business practices to ensure more efficient cooperation with partners from around the world.
7. Business agility
The business environment is constantly changing due to advancements in technology and new market trends. To remain successful and grow, companies must be flexible and agile. Choosing an agile partner will prove to be beneficial in the long run. Such a business is equipped with both expertise and resources to quickly react to changes. For instance, if you decide to scale, adopt new technology, or change your pricing model, your vendor should be able to provide solutions that meet your new business needs.
How to set up an efficient partnership with an IT outstaffing company?
Upon selecting from the number of outstaffing vendors, you will need to set up efficient and mutually beneficial cooperation. A reliable partner will give you a number of options for customizing your cooperation approach and giving you the deal that benefits both your businesses.
1. Choose the right cooperation model
Cooperation model would depend on your business needs, budget, and cooperation model. When looking for IT outstaffing in Ukraine, make sure that your potential vendor can offer you the best cooperation type that is a perfect match for your requirements. Typically, software development providers offer three engagement models: fixed price, dedicated development team, and time and material model.
2. Discuss legal aspects
After you select the appropriate IT outstaffing company in Ukraine and negotiate the pricing details, you will have to sign a contract. It’s a significant step that can help both sides achieve a win-win deal. You should pay special attention to such points as payment terms, notice periods, liability and warranties, intellectual property rights, сonfidentiality, and data protection.
3. Ensure effective communication
To make the most of your cooperation with an outstaffing vendor, make sure that your in-house and remote teams are on the same page. That includes the use of proper communication tools and regular meetings. Even if your teams are in different time zones, you and your partner will be able to set up effective cooperation conditions for both your in-house team and outstaffed developers.
At N-iX, we choose communication tools based on business needs, complexity, and frequency of communication.
4. Knowledge transfer
Knowledge transfer is an ongoing process that starts at the pre-project stage and finishes only after the cooperation ends. Even when the outstaffed team finishes working on your project, you should store and make sense of all the accumulated project information to ensure you won’t be caught off guard when something goes wrong.
Look for an outstaffing partner who can provide you with a solid knowledge transfer plan and knowledge-sharing sessions. Successful knowledge transfer is a product of mutual efforts because it depends on people from both sides, processes, and a product.
Companies that benefited from cooperation with N-iX
Over the years, N-iX worked with a number of leading companies across the US, EU, and other parts of the world. Here are a couple of examples of our cooperation with leaders across industries:
Lebara is a global telecom company providing services to 5M customers worldwide. In 2014, the company was looking for a dedicated development team to consolidate a wide range of expertise. Considering the above criteria, Lebara has preferred IT outstaffing in Ukraine and particularly N-iX as their partner.
Since then, the dedicated team has grown to 100 specialists responsible for digital transformation, big data and cloud solutions, migration to microservices, business intelligence development, and more.
For over two decades, Gogo has been a leader in in-flight broadband Internet, with a staff of more than 1,000 people. Thanks to their innovative technology, top-notch customer service, and global coverage, air travel is more efficient for airlines and more enjoyable for passengers.
N-iX has helped Gogo implement a real-time analytics solution that has allowed the client to identify the root causes of antenna performance issues, forecast technical failures, and decrease the no-fault-found rate by 75%. Moreover, N-iX has provided Gogo's C-level management with comprehensive reports that provide insight into the performance of the company's technologies and assist with service enhancements.
Weinmann Emergency is a medical technology company developing ventilation and defibrillation solutions for emergency medicine. The company needed additional experts to work on embedded Linux firmware and partnered with N-iX.
Together, we’ve successfully developed several efficient technological solutions and enhanced the client’s development capabilities.
Why choose N-iX as your IT outstaffing partner?
During almost 20 years on the market, N-iX has built a reputation as a reliable partner for providing IT outstaffing services in Ukraine:
- N-iX has a pool of 2,000+ experts including a team of 60+ recruiters, so we ensure a fast recruitment process;
- N-iX has established over 100 strategic partnerships with global industry leaders such as OpenText, Lebara, Gogo, Currencycloud, Fluke Corporation, and others;
- Our dedicated developers have versatile expertise in cloud services, data analytics, machine learning, business intelligence, IoT, and many others;
- We have more than 60 ongoing projects within the dedicated team model;
- N-iX cares about data security: we comply with all the global security standards such as ISO 27001:2013, PCI DSS, ISO 9001:2015, GDPR, as well as HIPAA;
- N-iX is featured in the list of the top 100 Global Outsourcing Companies by IAOP. Also, the company is a certified partner of OpenText, SAP, and Microsoft.