At the dawn of 2018, every person, company, organization, and industry is summing up the previous year and making plans for the next journey around the sun. We’ve decided to look back at the most important moments of the Ukrainian IT outsourcing industry in 2017. In the last few years, Ukraine has significantly grown its IT services market, developed new expertise, and attracted many customers from the US, Western Europe, and other parts of the world.

So was 2017 a good year for the Ukrainian IT industry? What do tech influencers think about the quality of IT services in the country? Is there enough engineering talent in Ukraine? How has the Ukrainian tech education improved? Why do more and more companies establish long-term partnerships with software development vendors in this country? What are the predictions for the future of the Ukrainian IT outsourcing? We’ve tried to answer these and a couple of other questions.

Top industry recognition moments of 2017

  • Outsourcing Destination of the Year

In October last year, Global Sourcing Association named Ukraine Offshoring Destination of the Year, and this was one of the most notable recognition moments for the Ukrainian IT industry in 2017. GSA is global sourcing association aimed to provide a strategic sourcing knowledge base and form a professional environment for connecting trustworthy outsourcing vendors with their clients.

Applying for this award, N-iX gathered numerous references from the companies cooperating with Ukrainian developers and thus made a solid case proving the high quality of software development services in the country.

Kerry Hallard, President of Global Sourcing Association, CEO at GSA UK, points out that the industry is changing rapidly and that makes the results of the GSA nomination even more considerable:

“This year marks the 30th anniversary since the founding of the GSA (previously known as the National Outsourcing Association), making this year’s awards particularly pertinent. The sourcing industry is being disrupted at unprecedented speed and on a global level. This makes the fabulous results delivered by our award nominees even more remarkable, demonstrating impressive collaboration across client and provider teams and a commitment to driving ever greater value-add across contracts.”

Ms Hallard also delivered a speech at IT Arena, one the biggest IT events in Eastern Europe held in Ukraine. She urged the country’s IT leaders to unite in promoting the brand of Ukraine as the best destination for outsourcing IT services.

  • 13 Companies in Global Outsourcing 100

In 2017, the Global Outsourcing 100 list by IAOP included 13 companies with development centers in Ukraine. This is three vendors more than the previous year, and nine more than in 2015. Seven of the listed companies including N-iX originated in Ukraine.

The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals® is a global standard-setting organization in the outsourcing sphere. The companies included in GO 100 listing have proven their excellence in 5 aspects, namely size and growth, customer references, awards and certifications, programs for innovation, and corporate social responsibility.  Therefore, growing number of Ukrainian businesses in this ranking is definitely a positive sign and demonstrates the dynamic development of the industry.

  • First Ukrainian Company in Software 500

N-iX became the first Ukrainian company listed in Software 500, the ranking that gathers the world’s largest software and services providers. For 35 years, it has provided a detailed look at the changes in the software industry. 

N-iX made TOP-10 in revenue growth for overall software 500. Besides, the company was listed 2nd in the TOP-10 companies with $10M to $30M revenue range in the “Keeping Fast Company III” category with more than 77% growth over the previous fiscal year. Software Magazine also included other IT companies with development centers in Ukraine, namely EPAM, Luxoft, Wix, Limelight, Intetics, TEAM International, and QArea.

Therefore, we can clearly see that not only is Ukrainian engineering talent valued on the global market but also its IT vendors. That demonstrates the shift of the Ukrainian IT industry into a mature player in the global business arena.

  • Ukrainian IT Vendors in Clutch

In 2017, a lot of Ukrainian software vendors were included in the Clutch Leaders Matrix in different categories such as Web&Software Development, Mobile App Development, IT Services&Solutions, Big Data & BI Consultants, etc.

Clutch has become a trusted platform for selecting an IT provider in your preferred destination. Its analysts interview real clients, collect data and compare competitors to help businesses find a trustworthy partner. N-iX and other Ukrainian IT vendors were listed among Top 5 IT outsourcing companies 2017 and Top Developers Ukraine 2017, which demonstrates the high quality of services provided by the Ukrainian software development companies.

 

Top improvements in the talent pool

  • Talent pool growth

2017 has brought 27,000 more IT specialists, which shows 27% annual growth of the Ukrainian engineering talent pool. So today there are over 130,000 specialists working in the country’s IT industry. Such impressive progress even beats the rates of the period before the crisis of 2007-2008. Moreover, we may expect 20% growth in 2018, and by 2020 the industry will have over 240,000 employees. 

  • Engineering excellence

According to IT Ukraine Association and DOU, the country has positive workforce dynamics and significant improvements in its qualitative indicators. Ukrainian IT professionals developed new kinds of expertise and broadened their skills in 2017. Here are a few stats to prove it:

  • Ukraine is 3rd in the world by the number of certified technical specialists;
  • It is 1st in CEE by the number of talents;
  • 130,000 Ukrainians graduate each year;
  • 79% of Ukrainians obtained higher education, and 57% of IT specialists have STEM degrees;
  • 75% of IT professionals working in the country are fluent in English;
  • 12% of Ukrainian IT specialists have over 10 years of experience, 19% – 5-10 years of experience, and 25% – 3-5 years of experience.

As for the composition of the Ukrainian IT workforce, programmers constitute 53% of all the professionals, software testers comprise 14% of the total, and managers represent 7% of the industry.

Ukrainian IT specialists

Source: Portrait of IT Specialist 2017 by DOU

  • Launch of Innovative Educational Programs

Industry growth would be impossible without the changes in the educational system of the country. IT Clusters working in major Ukrainian IT cities cooperate with the local universities and IT companies to launch new educational programs and set up innovation labs at schools and colleges.

For example, Lviv IT Cluster started 4 educational initiatives in 2017. They are Artificial Intelligence at Lviv Polytechnic, DS&ISData Science and Computer Science at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. The programs were developed by IT experts and university professors for education to meet the demands of the changing IT market. What’s more, an innovative IoT course was launched at Lviv Polytechnic in 2016.

Also, since 2015 students at the Ukrainian Catholic University have had the chance to enrol for Master’s program in Computer Science with specialization in Data ScienceThe program follows the model of Stanford University and the University of Waterloo and offers mathematical foundations such as applied statistics and probabilistic analysis.

Therefore, the innovative specialities ramp up the skills of Ukrainian developers and multiply the number of qualified specialists.

Top IT events of 2017

Ukrainian IT professionals eagerly share their knowledge and try to master new tools and technologies. So there are a lot of  IT events and active community life. In 2017, the events attracted more attendees, more famous speakers and covered more topics. Let’s have a look at the biggest and most popular IT gatherings in the country.

  • IT Arena

Location: Lviv, Ukraine

Number of participants: 2300+

IT Arena is the most notable event in the industry throughout the country. Moreover, it is one of the biggest IT events in Eastern Europe. With a plethora of international speakers, IT Arena covers 3 major streams such as Business, Product, and Technology. The event also includes the startup competition and numerous meet-ups. In 2017, IT Arena gathered over 2,300 participants from all over the world (compared to 800+ attendees in 2014). 

  • IT Weekend Ukraine

Location: Kyiv

Number of participants: 1000+

IT Weekend is another popular IT event focusing on technology trends. In 2017, it explored digital transformation by showcasing the latest developments in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Big Data and Data Science as well as Bots and Machine Learning. Beside the speakers from Skype, SAP, Intel, IBM, HP, and Dell, IT Weekend gathers influential people of the Ukrainian IT industry and key government officials.

  • iForum

Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Number of participants: 7,000+

iForum is the largest offline conference in Ukraine held in Kyiv. Last year, the 9th iForum gathered over 7,000 participants from around the world. It had several streams, namely Internet Business & Startups, Advertising & Promotion, Internet Technologies, EdTech of the Future & Innovations, CRM & Loyalty, and others.

  • GDG DevFest Ukraine

Location: Lviv, Ukraine

Number of participants: 1,000+

GDG DevFest Ukraine 2017  is the biggest community-driven Google tech conference in CEE. It brings together the experts in Android, Web and Cloud technologies to Lviv for 2 days of sessions and workshops. In 2017, the participants welcomed the speakers from Microsoft, Intel, Google, Twitter, and other global tech giants.

  • Dev Challenge 11

Location: Kyiv

Number of participants: 2,000

Dev Challenge 11 is a development hackathon with 10 nominations in 2 directions, Web and Mobile. Each nomination has 2 categories depending on the skills and experience of the participants, namely Standard (Middle, Junior-to-Middle) and Pro (Senior, Middle-to-Senior). During the 3 stages of the hackathon, the competitors have to cope with challenging tasks and implement original solutions. In the 11th season, Amazon and Facebook joined DEV Challenge partners to share their expertise.

  • Outsource People 2017

Location: Kyiv

Number of participants: 1,200+

The main focus of Outsource People is on the export of the Ukrainian IT services. Attendees discuss the challenges and changes in the Ukrainian IT outsourcing, think how to move the industry forward and compete successfully on the global market. The event covers such topics as business strategy, sales, management, marketing, e-commerce, and others.

Predictions for 2018

Having analyzed the industry dynamics in 2017, we can draw our humble predictions for 2018: 

  • Workforce market growth, which will bring more tangible benefits for clients.
  • Increased competition on the Ukrainian IT outsourcing market will result in better service and higher quality of delivered solutions.
  • Stronger role of Ukrainian companies in the global software development market.
  • Further improvement of tech education in Ukraine will bring more talent to the industry and raise the quality of services.

Conclusion

There were a lot of positive changes in the Ukrainian IT outsourcing industry in 2017. Ukrainian software vendors signed many new contracts with global clients and attracted a lot of new business to the country. There were considerable improvements in education, the development of new service offerings, the growth of the IT community, and active implementation of innovations. 

The Ukrainian talent pool has grown significantly in 2017, so the country has all the chances to get a bigger piece of the IT outsourcing pie in 2018. Moreover, businesses that partner with Ukrainian developers value their engineering skills and the high quality of provided services.

Ukrainian IT professionals also feel hopeful and positive about 2018. According to the survey conducted by DOU, for 96% of the specialists, 2017 was more or less successful. Whereas 68% believe 2018 will be better than the previous year.

Contact our experts, if you want to find out more about Ukrainian IT outsourcing and its leading IT vendors.

All You Need to Know about Ukrainian IT Outsourcing in 2017