Embracing digital technologies to meet the ever-increasing customer needs remains crucial for most business leaders. This raises the demand for digital talents as the major force behind the company’s technological advancement. More and more organizations realize that they don’t have enough capacity to take advantage of the new and cutting-edge tech. Therefore, they explore the most vibrant IT outsourcing destinations, such as Eastern Europe, trying to find a reliable IT outsourcing vendor.
Software development in Eastern Europe is thriving. Eastern European IT is recognized for its impressive diversity of tech professionals, developed infrastructure, and strong educational background.
With this in mind, we’ve decided to compare some of the leading software development destinations in the EE region – Ukraine and Belarus. The article explores IT market growth and development, availability of IT resources, the current state of the business environment, and technical education in these countries.
IT market overview in Ukraine and Belarus
IT is one of the most dynamic sectors in the Ukrainian economy. It reached $4.5B in 2018 and its growth pace is getting faster every single year. Around 184,700 specialists are involved in the Ukrainian IT sector, which is the biggest number in Europe. Furthermore, Ukrainian BrainBasket Foundation aims to train 100,000 new IT specialists by 2020, thus turning the Ukrainian IT into the country’s number one export industry.
1600+ IT outsourcing companies are located in the country providing a wide array of services in various industries like insurtech, hospitality, healthcare, fintech, telecom, media & entertainment, etc. Additionally, 18 Ukrainian IT companies, including N-iX, have been featured in the list Global Outsourcing 100 in 2019 by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) as top IT outsourcing providers.
Ukraine is continuing to gain traction in terms of IT industry development with a big number of multinational companies setting up their R&D facilities here. For instance, 100+ R&D centers of global companies  such as Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Apple, Boeing, Skype, Wargaming, eBay, Siemens, IBM, etc. are located in Ukraine.
Belarus is home to 1,000 IT companies employing around 54,200 IT specialists. Belarusian IT companies have clients in more than 50 countries all over the world and approximately 45% of them are from the USA and Canada, and 30% are from Europe. The exports of Belarusian IT services have been steadily growing over recent years at an annual pace of 10%. The total production and sales revenue of its IT sector amounted to $3.1B in 2018.
What’s more, some of the Belarusian IT companies were included in the Software Magazine’s Software 500 ranking of the world's largest software and service providers and were recognized by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) as The Global Outsourcing 100 companies.
In addition, the country has attracted such tech trendsetters as Viber, Fitbit, Playtika, IHS, Yandex, WorkFusion, and Juno, to open their R&D centers. Moreover, the success stories of Belarusian product companies like Wargaming, Apalon, Masquerade have also stimulated the development of the local IT and startup ecosystem.
Technical education in Ukraine and Belarus
Ukraine boasts strong technical education with more than 16,000 ICT and 23,000 engineering students graduating every year with certificates in technical disciplines. More than 450 educational institutions are located in Ukraine and many of them maintain IT-related educational programs. The most popular tech institutions are Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, Lviv Polytechnic National University, etc. Ukrainian universities have also launched a number of IT-related courses in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, IoT, etc.
The majority of Ukrainian developers have a good command of the English language (around 47% has fluent English skills and 34% – intermediate level) and the country holds the 43d place in EF English proficiency index 2019, which is improving year by year.
The Belarusian tech talent pool is growing with around 4,000 new software engineers graduating every year. Around 55 higher educational establishments provide courses in computer science and other IT-related disciplines. Moreover, large IT companies in Belarus actively collaborate with higher education institutions. It allows students to acquire practical skills in different technical areas. Besides, some software development companies in Belarus offer their own courses that help those who are eager to start their career in the IT sector. Nevertheless, the country is still behind its regional counterparts in terms of educational innovations.
Business environment in Belarus and Ukraine
Ukraine is on the path to its integration with the EU and is introducing a number of business reforms. Now, starting a business is much easier due to the simplification of the taxation system and improvement of registration procedures. As of 2019, the country is 104 positions higher in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business compared to 2014. Moreover, according to the A.T. Kearney research , Ukraine ranks 20th out of 50 most attractive business locations in the world.
Local authorities recognize the need to support the development of the Ukrainian IT industry as a strategically important area for the country’s progress. That is why they increased the state order for graduates in technical specialties and adopted the law on the simplification of export services. And this is just a minor part of governmental incentives for the local IT market growth and development.
During recent years, the Belarusian IT sector received governmental support as one of the top-priority economic sectors for future development. The emergence of Belarus Hi-Tech Park stimulated IT sector development and provided special business environment for local IT companies. Around 159 IT companies from Belarus are residents of the High Tech Park bringing together 25,000 tech professionals. The annual volume of export of park’s residents has increased from $21M in 2006 to over $3.4B in 2018. Moreover, the HTP resident-companies are exempt from corporate taxes, including VAT, profit, real estate, and land taxes. In 2018, Belarus was ranked 37th country in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business, 26 positions higher compared to 2014.
All in all, IT in Eastern Europe is one of the most dynamic sectors, providing new and attractive opportunities for offshore leaders. Ukraine remains one of the leading forces in the region, due to its solid talent pool, strong technical education, and well-developed business infrastructure. This IT outsourcing destination was recognized among the top 25 IT services exporters and attracted a myriad of multinational companies. Now, the main challenge rests in finding the best IT outsourcing provider to help you allocate a strong team for fruitful cooperation.
Both countries are located within the same time zone and have well-established flight connection with numerous destinations.
Why choose N-iX as a software development partner in Belarus and Ukraine?
Here are several reasons to consider N-iX when outsourcing your software development to Belarus and Ukraine:
- Extensive expertise and over 17 years of experience on the market, with over 900 experts on board.
- Numerous industry recognitions (Clutch, GoodFirms, OpenText, and Microsoft partner).
- Development centers in Belarus, as well as Ukraine (Kyiv, Lviv), Poland, Bulgaria, and offices in Sweden, and the USA.
If you have any questions about IT outsourcing to Belarus or Ukraine, make sure to contact our experts.
- State of European Tech
- Doing Business Index
- 2019 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index
- Software development in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Romania