Outsourcing IT services is a way to cut expenditures, remedy a talent shortage problem, and increase the scalability of your project. So, no wonder many businesses from the US, UK, Singapore, and other locations opt to partner with IT companies in Poland.
The country boasts the talent pool of 295,300 skilled professionals (nearly 25% of the entire developer population in the Eastern European region) and houses almost 700 IT outsourcing companies. But how to find a reliable vendor that can help you meet your specific business needs? What criteria are of prime importance when choosing among top IT companies in Poland? And how to make your outsourcing company selection process smooth and safe?
To help you make an informed decision and choose a reliable provider among IT companies in Poland, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide.
Overview of IT market in Poland
Poland has numerous recognitions as a reliable outsourcing destination. Here are a few facts that reflect the growth of the Polish IT market:
- Polish IT services exports grew from $1.09B in 2010 to $4.62B in 2017 with an average CAGR of 22.9%;
- Sales of IT services exports continue to grow and are expected to reach $15.5B by the end of 2020;
- Poland ranks 24th in 2019 A. T. Kearney Global Services Location Index as one of the most attractive outsourcing destinations;
- The country is ranked 9th in Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations;
- Ease of Doing Business Ranking places Poland at the 40 positions recognizing its improved conditions of starting business and contracts enforcement.
Poland has several major IT hubs that house the most significant number of IT companies in Poland: Warsaw (the capital), Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice, and Tri-city (combined area of Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot). Now we will view them in more detail.
Where to look for the best software engineering partner: Major IT hubs in Poland
Being a capital, Warsaw houses a significant share of tech professionals in Poland, namely 65,600 developers. What's more, the universities of Warsaw provide constant talent inflow to the market by annually graduating over 3,000 ICT students.
Nevertheless, the competition for talent in this city is fierce: the number of IT outsourcing vendors and various R&D centers is one of the highest in the country.
Krakow houses the most significant number (over 70,000 in 2019) of software developers in Poland and is known as the country's cultural capital. The number of IT companies and R&D centres is lower than in Warsaw, so the competition for tech talent is lower. ABSL ranks Krakow 2nd in the availability of skilled experts.
Besides, Krakow has also been recognized as one of the top 60 startup- and scale-up cities in Europe.
Wroclaw is known for its talent pool of 47,500 professional developers and 1,400 ICT graduates that enter the market annually. The companies in Wroclaw cooperate with local authorities to create a healthy business environment.
IT vendors in the city typically work with clients from the USA, Poland, and Nordic countries.
The number of tech experts in Katowice reached almost 24,000 in 2019, and 1,400 ICT grads contribute to the IT market annually. IT companies in this hub cooperate mainly with companies from Poland, France, and the UK.
Tri-city is a combined area of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot and unites a tech talent pool of 25,500 software developers. Along with the capital, this region cooperates with businesses from the US (32%), Poland (17%), and the UK (18%). Tri-city is an excellent nearshoring destination for Nordic companies due to geographic proximity.
Now that you are familiar with major IT outsourcing hubs in Poland, here are some steps to help you choose a reliable vendor in Poland.
How to choose an outsourcing company in Poland?
- Clearly define your budget, business KPIs and expectations you have towards an IT company in Poland;
- Create a long list of IT companies in Poland you will analyze taking into account their services quality, expertise, and security standards;
- Consider the size of your potential outsourcing company in Poland, as mid-size and large vendors are more likely to have enough recruitment capabilities and resources you need internally;
- Look for a company with a strong portfolio of software products similar to yours, preferably in your industry.
Now let's dwell on more specific criteria to choose a trusted software development partner in Poland.
Criteria to choose an IT company in Poland
1. Browse through the tech portfolio of IT companies in Poland
To understand if the outsourcing company in Poland has the necessary experience and expertise, browse through their website. Search the solutions that the company has developed for other clients, case studies, etc. This information will help understand the key technologies the IT company in Poland specializes in, industries they serve, types of companies they typically cooperate with.
Look for the solutions that either match your industry or the tech stack you need.
2. Consider the company size of an outsourcing company in Poland
In this section, we will view the pros and cons of cooperation with small (up to 250 employees), medium (250-999), and large (1000-9999) outsourcing companies.
- Small IT companies in Poland
The main advantage of cooperating with the small provider is the lower cost of services: these companies are usually less experienced, so their services are cheaper than those of more reputable ones. Also, small companies are very enthusiastic. To get the client’s attention, they usually go the extra mile to please their customers.
However, smaller companies do not have enough internal resources to scale up a team quickly. Also, they cannot boast a powerful employer brand, as highly skilled employees are less likely to join small, little-known companies.
What’s more, despite the smaller cost, cooperation with the small vendor is financially risky, as if one of the projects fails, they can quickly go out of business due to the lack of resources to keep them running.
Mid-sized IT companies in Poland
Medium vendors are usually more experienced and have enough expertise to work with both well-funded startups and large companies. They can successfully deal with both the discovery phase for new projects and long-term partnerships.
Also, such companies have a stronger brand reputation, so it is easier for them to recruit skilled professionals for your project. What’s more, they are more likely to have resources to satisfy your business needs internally.
However, their talent pool is still limited, so it might be difficult for them to assemble a large team (10+) instantly.
- Big IT companies in Poland
Big vendors usually have diverse expertise and experience in different industries. They have a vast talent pool internally, so they can scale up momentarily. So, if you need to extend your team with many professionals at once - this is your option.
In case such a vendor does not have resources you need on board, it will be easy for them to find top-notch experts for your project due to the renowned employer brand. Many developers are interested in working in a company with a famous name.
Also, big vendors can handle massive projects that involve a large number of experts required - again due to the internal talent pool.
However, as for the disadvantages, big vendors may deliver solutions slower due to bureaucracy and complicated procedures. The bigger a company gets, the more complicated processes are.
The general rule of choosing the vendor size is to cooperate with a company that is compatible in size with your business. This increases the chance of successful cooperation, as the company of your size is familiar with your business challenges and will help to handle them.
3. Browse through directories
Dedicated websites, or directories such as Clutch, GoodFirms, Featured Customers, etc. allow anyone to research IT vendors from all over the world. Why should you use them to choose an IT company in Poland?
First off, you can narrow down your search to the key services you need. If you are interested in custom application development, browse through a list of companies that provide specific services. You can also look for companies in a particular location - and find an outsourcing company in Poland, or another spot.
What’s more, respectful directories like Clutch check and verify the vendor’s profiles with scrutiny, so if the profile is verified - a company and their expertise are reliable.
4. Consider IT companies in Poland with strong employer brand
We have already briefly mentioned the importance of the employer brand in the recruitment process. Skilled professionals are more likely to choose to work for a renowned company than a small one.
However, there is one more aspect to it: the employee turnover rate of your vendor-to be. That refers to the percent of people who leave an organization during a certain period. If this rate is high - it is likely that such a vendor cannot provide comfortable working conditions, professional growth, training opportunities, fair compensation, etc.
To avoid an urgent search for a professional in the middle of the project - pay attention to this aspect in advance.
5. Take into account awards and certifications of top IT companies in Poland
Established IT companies in Poland typically have certifications from major tech partners. For example, a company working with .NET needs to have a Microsoft certificate. This guarantees knowledge and experience within the given tech stack.
Also, membership in various associations, chambers, and business communities is a good sign. Also, take into account industry awards and ratings, for instance, Global Outsourcing 100 that recognizes the best outsourcing companies.
6. Don't overlook security compliances of an outsourcing company in Poland
International regulations and security standards are vital to ensure cybersecurity, so reliable vendors must comply with them.
For instance, compliance with ISO 27001 means implementing administrative and physical controls to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.
PCI DSS compliance is mandatory for a vendor that accepts card payments and stores, processes, and transmits cardholder data.
Compliance with HIPAA law is vital when working with medical data.
To comply with security standards, IT vendors undergo internal and external audits regularly.
Reliable outsourcing providers cooperate with authorized third parties to perform regular cybersecurity assessments. For example, Bureau Veritas runs audits for ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 audits for N-iX.
7. Look through the websites of a longlisted IT company in Poland
Reliable IT companies in Poland always keep their website running. Here are a few aspects you need to pay attention to when browsing your potential vendors' website:
- latest updates on their blog;
- locations of the company's offices;
- cooperation models they offer and approaches to software development;
- job offerings and the careers section;
- expertise, technologies, and services, they offer;
- a company overview page with the critical information on it;
- a tech portfolio.
8. Pay attention to the reviews and client testimonials
Checking out customer reviews is also one of the ways to narrow down your list of potential partners. You can find recommendations on social media, Google, and Clutch. Also, look for client testimonials on the website.
Employee feedback is also of prime importance as the company’s brand image will affect its recruitment capabilities. If there are many negative reviews about your potential partner on social media, its attrition rate must be bad too. So, it is important to go through employee reviews.
9. Look through the social media of selected IT companies in Poland
The social media of a company can give you an inside look into its life. Usually, companies use LinkedIn to present their accomplishments, expertise, and experience. If you are interested in the company’s day-to-day life, visit their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Look for a vendor with a complementary culture and business ethics.
10. Assess the communication culture of your potential outsourcing partner in Poland
Proper communication and customer approach are of the utmost importance when you look for a reliable partner. If you notice that the provider expresses little interest in your inquiry, doesn't seem to be fully engaged, or replies weeks after the request was sent, it might be better to avoid a company like that.
Outsourcing offshore development services in Poland is a great way to expand your business. However, it works only if you do it right. Remember to:
- Narrow down the list of IT companies in Poland based on the detailed vendors' profiles.
- Discuss the legal and procedural aspects of cooperation before signing the contract.
- Oversee the knowledge transfer and first weeks of the partnership.
Why choose N-iX?
- N-iX has offices in various locations, including Poland (Krakow), Ukraine (Kyiv and Lviv), the USA, Sweden, Malta, and Bulgaria;
- N-iX is the company that has recently surpassed the milestone of 1000 employees, so it is both agile and has an extensive internal talent pool to scale up quickly;
- N-iX is well-recognized in the global IT market and has awards, such as Global outsourcing 100 by IAOP, GSA UK 2019, and more;
- N-iX is a member of the British-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, as well as American, Canadian, and Norwegian.
- N-iX is compliant with ISO 27001:2013, PCI DSS, ISO 9001:2015, GDPR and HIPAA and undergoes annual external security audits to ensure maximum security;