On May 24, 2022, the Union team together with the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce held a webinar "Ukrainian IT Industry During the War", in the course of which members of IT Export Alliance shared their experiences of doing business in the time of war and discussed the importance of international support, contracting and launching new projects with Ukrainian developers to strengthen the economy of Ukraine.
Konstantin Vasyuk, Executive Director, IT Ukraine Association, presented the state of the industry. He made the following key points:
- Ukraine's IT sector is rapidly growing at an average annual rate of 27%. In the first quarter of 2022, the IT industry provided a record $2 billion in wartime export revenue. The same figure was $1.44 billion in 2021.
- Ukrainian companies continue to fulfill their obligations and, thus, 52% of them kept 100% of their contracts, where 32% of companies have minor changes and have kept 90-99% of contracts.
- Some IT professionals were relocated to Western regions before the war even began. Currently, 70% of IT professionals work in safe regions of Ukraine, while the remaining 16%, mostly women, work abroad.
- Since the start of the war, 3% of IT specialists, mostly with military experience, have gone into the Armed Forces. In some small companies with up to 200 people, 20% of specialists have joined the army. 9% of IT specialists are actively involved in fighting on the information front, in state cyber-security, and supporting government projects.
- The Ukrainian IT community actively supports the army. The research "Ukrainian ІТ Industry: Reboot in the Wartime" shows that the companies which took part in the survey have donated 806 million UAH for charity and humanitarian aid during three months of war. Thus, a total of 11,102 body armor, 6,574 helmets, 140 cars, 700 turnstiles, 136 drones, 3 Starlinks and much more have been purchased and donated for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Orest Furhala, Head of Alliances & Partnerships, N-iX also spoke about the state of the IT industry:
“The Ukrainian IT industry remains open for business and able to deliver technology projects to foreign clients, even amid the war with Russia. New projects were started at N-iX, and over 100 engineers have joined our company during the last 3 months of the war. IT Ukraine, together with NUCC, is doing a great job in spreading these messages. As board members of both organizations, we gladly support these activities.”
Among the speakers at the event were representatives of Ukrainian businesses as well as Norwegian partners who work with Ukrainian developers. Stefan Eklund, CEO, Coinno, a consultant to the Norwegian B2B market project, noted that he is “happy to understand that the IT industry in Ukraine works pretty good”.
“It looks like the long experience with high quality outsourcing had prepared them well with remote work. Covid gave even more experience for their internal organization. The security situation had been challenged since the Crimean occupation, and they had good emergency plans. It seems like it took them roughly a month to adopt.
They have a good infrastructure for the Internet - fiber optic, cellular and satellite backup solutions, and everything works. The data protection is at the highest level." - he added.
During the event, the companies noted the importance of international support for Ukraine and Ukrainian businesses.
“We are grateful to all the nations for supporting Ukrainians in these difficult times. At the webinar, all the representatives of different organizations tried to provide as much information on the current situation in the industry and processes in the IT companies and help all interested to have the whole transparent picture when considering partnering with a Ukrainian service provider for their next project. By choosing the Ukrainian IT partner you help us to pay taxes, hire more technicians, donate to charity, and create jobs for people from non-IT industries. Apart from investing in the Ukrainian economy to stay afloat, each of you receives a loyal and professional tech partner and added value for a reasonable price.” - Iryna Povkh, Business Development Manager, Kindgeek.
Participants stressed the importance of such measures, especially in the current environment:
“I would like to express gratitude to @Union and @Norwegian – Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (NUCC) teams for organization of a webinar “Ukrainian IT Industry During the War”. They did a good job in organizing it technically and were able to cover a lot of important topics on how Ukrainian IT sector works under circumstances of war.
Special thanks to @Konstantin Vasyuk, Executive Director of IT Ukraine Association, for a great IT market overview and @Viktor Emanuel for sharing the how it felt in Norwegian company to see this war started.
I'll be happy to hear feedback from Norwegian and other companies to understand if such events are useful and demanded.” - Ross Shevchenko, Partner, DataMix
Ivan Dmytrasevych, CEO, UnameIT supported Ross, noting:
“It was a successful and much-needed webinar in today's conditions. Participants from Norway were convinced that they can and should be working with Ukrainian IT. Briefly, but constructively, we touch on many questions beginning with data security to team motivation. The war showed that the top priority for most IT companies is the safety of people. In turn, our specialists have demonstrated that they are ready to continue to provide high-quality and timely services even in the most difficult moments.”
Union organizers will continue to spread information about the current state of Ukrainian IT industry in order to provide Ukrainian technology companies with new projects and support them in entering new markets.
We would like to remind you that Union was launched in September 2020 and is implemented by the IT Ukraine Association with the support of the USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP) in partnership with the State Institution "Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office", and CIVITTA.