If you are thinking about moving your IT development or maintenance to a lower-cost country in 2015, you should definitely consider Poland as your future IT outsourcing destination. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain Poland has refashioned itself as a model of free-market economics. From 1989 to 2007 its economy grew 177 percent, outpacing its Central and Eastern European neighbours. It is also one of the most dynamic economies in the EU nowadays. However, it is not only for the sake of the stable and dynamically growing economy you should seriously take into account this country when searching for your nearshoring or offshoring destination. Other reasons in favour of Poland are: low labour costs, effective coordination thanks to geographical proximity, a bunch of clever IT engineers and cultural similarities.
STABLE ECONOMY WITH A DYNAMICALLY GROWING IT MARKET
A country’s economic stability and predictability is definitely something you should check in the first place when searching for a good place to outsource your IT projects. Poland meets these requirements. In fact, it was the only country in the EU not affected by the economic recession of recent years. In 2012 the Polish GDP increased by 1.9 percent, while the average GDP of all EU countries was around -0.4 % at that time. Poland’s GDP growth accelerated to about 3.4 percent in 2014, compared to 1.7 percent in 2013, according to Poland’s Ministry of Economy. The IMF expects that in 2015 Poland’s GDP will rise by 3.3 percent.
The healthy condition of the Polish economy is also confirmed by a number of respectable international institutions, such as Ernst&Young, which, in its E&Y Attractiveness Survey Europe of 2013, named the country the most attractive location for investment in Central and Eastern Europe. Also UNCTAD’s World Investment Report from 2013 predicts that Poland will be the 4th most attractive economy in Europe and 14th worldwide.
Poland definitely outstripped offshore countries such as India as regards the growth of outsourcing facilities. Substantial investments that have been made in recent years improved the technology infrastructure. Fast internet connections and the construction of new data centres have made the communication with other countries as seamless as possible. Nowadays IT is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Polish economy. According to recent statistics presented by the research company DIS, the value of the IT market increased by 4 percent and reached 21.2 billion PLN in 2013. It represents 1.5 percent of Poland’s GDP. These numbers make it the fastest growing IT market of Central and Eastern Europe.
LOW LABOUR COST
In addition to dynamic growth, the cost of labour is another big reason why Poland takes the lead on the nearshoring map in Europe. According to the report “Onshore, nearshore, offshore – unsure? A 2010 Polish perspective” by PAIZ (the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency), the average monthly gross remuneration in R&D centres in Poland amounts to PLN 4,200 PLN ($1,153) for QA engineers, PLN 6,400 ($1,756) for software developers and PLN 9,500 ($2,607) for projects managers. Labour costs in the EU increase approximately 2-3 percent annually. The low labour costs in Poland are also confirmed by the statistics from the European Cities Monitor which place Polish cities among the most attractive locations in Europe in terms of labour costs.
EFFECTIVE COORDINATION THANKS TO GEOGRAPHICAL PROXIMITY
All IT projects require good collaboration and communication between managers and developers. In the case of offshore developers the logistics of scheduling conference calls and asking questions may be challenging. Due to time zone differences it takes at least a day to obtain an answer to your question. Poland’s time zone compatibility with the majority of European countries plays a significant role in improving the coordination and communication in the project. Additionally, the location of Poland in the heart of Europe makes the country a perfect nearshoring destination as it is very easy for partners to meet whenever needed. Poland is very well connected with major European cities and regions. Its well-developed transport infrastructure makes it possible to travel conveniently within the country too. All that makes the communication between the teams easier.
An essential factor providing Poland’s with its place on the IT outsourcing map is its very large pool of highly skilled resources. Currently there are over 100,000 staff employed in the IT sector in Poland. The level of IT skills found among Polish developers matches the level found in the Western European countries. Each year 15,000 graduates of IT faculties enter the labour market in Poland, while almost 100,000 high school students attend IT courses. Additionally, according to the Central Statistical Office, the number of graduates in information technology is increasing. The high standards of the Polish educational system are confirmed by the many awards and prestigious competitions won by Polish programmers. Every year the quality of Polish IT professionals is recognized in international contests such as the Code Jam, the Imagine Cup or the Google Code Jam. Polish IT professionals win significant part of all awards every year which serves as proof of their excellent skills.
Poland belongs to the same cultural sphere as Western countries. It has a similar history, Poles believe in the same values and the same jokes make them laugh. This helps very much in solving problems that may occur during the implementation of an offshore IT development project. Another very important factor is Poles’ very good command of English, a great advantage when communication in a project is primarily via phone or email. The language school EF Education First published the results of its annual ranking of English proficiency in countries around the world. Poland ranked high as it came in eighth place, ahead of such countries as Belgium, Germany or Switzerland. The survey, according to which 75 percent of Poles speak English, covered 60 non-English speaking countries.
Are you interested in outsourcing your IT to Poland?