IT services are the third-largest export services sector in Ukraine. How to keep this growth?

It’s no secret that Ukrainian IT specialists are highly valued in the market, and domestic startups have brought us to a competitive international level. The country has become a major player in the technology arena: the IT staff is approaching 200,000 developers. It was hoped that in the coming years we will not experience big shocks, and the IT market will bloom, and partnerships will benefit market participants.

Information technology is one of the key sectors contributing to the country’s economy. The statistics provided by various organizations for the analysis ‘Ukraine: the country that codes’ are showing rapid growth. Here are some facts from the above report that support this trend:

  1. ICT has become the third-largest export services industry, accounting for over 20% of all Ukrainian services exports;
  2. more than 1600 IT service companies in Ukraine;
  3. the candidate pool in Ukraine is 185,000 IT specialists;
  4. Ukraine ranks 20th in the ranking of the most attractive outsourcing destinations in A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index;
  5. more than 100 Fortune 500 companies are clients of Ukrainian IT companies.

The role of the IT industry in the country’s economy

The State Statistics Service of Ukraine provided data for analysis, according to which the ICT sector brought the economy $ 1.5 billion in January-September 2018 and amounted to 16.7% of the volume of exports of Ukrainian services. Thus, ICT is the third most profitable service export industry. For comparison: the first place was taken by the transportation sector, in particular the gas transportation system of Ukraine.

It is worth mentioning that financial services and ecommerce account for a significant part of the IT market.

Below I added a list of branches in which the ideas of Ukrainian developers are most successfully implemented. Financial services and ecommerce account for a significant share.

The value of Ukrainian IT specialists in other countries

Poland already “takes” our programmers, offering special working conditions in the EU, as well as housing for the whole family. The state has developed the program Poland. Business Harbor, according to which developers from Ukraine can get a high-paying job in one of the partner companies of the initiative.

Political and financial instability, low salaries and low living standards stimulate the outflow of specialists from Ukraine. Many programmers are still working on outsourcing, choosing mainly employers from the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain. However, the turbulence in the country creates barriers both for working here and for creating their own companies and startups.

How to retain IT professionals?

It is hard not to notice the emptying market of IT specialists in Ukraine. We ask ourselves the question, what are they looking for abroad? Interest and funding! It is much more difficult to attract start-up investments in a project in our country than in Poland, and I do not even mention financial or regulatory support from the state.

If we abstract from the general political and economic situation, then Ukraine does not stand still. Hubs are also being created in the country in which potential ideas turn into real projects. Among the most famous IT towns:, LvivTech.City, Innovation District IT Park. The centers for the deployment of IT specialists in Ukraine are Kiev, Lvov, Kharkov, Dnipro and Odessa. Sometimes we even observe the opposite process: ex-Googlers come back and implement projects in Ukraine.

Given the growing role of the IT industry in the country’s GDP, the Ukrainian government should carry out many reforms to facilitate its further development. In addition to the state, the interest of business also plays an important role, it provides the greatest financial support. To sum up, we shouldn’t underestimate the Ukrainian IT industry!

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank