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Emerging Europe releases the IT Landscape: Future of IT report

A major new report reveals the most competitive IT sectors in the emerging Europe region 

Poland is home to the most competitive IT sector of all 23 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, a landmark new report from Emerging Europe has revealed. 

The report, The IT Landscape: The Future of IT in Emerging Europe shows that while Hungary and Serbia perform better in terms of talent, and Estonia, Lithuania, Czechia, Slovenia and Latvia rank better when it comes to the business climate, Poland’s overall score of 61.40 is more than three points higher than second placed Estonia, on 58.13.  

Czechia, Hungary and Romania complete the top five in the Emerging Europe IT Competitiveness Index, which forms part of the report. 

Despite having a large IT sector, Ukraine, whose talent score is one of the highest in the region, is let down by its sector development and business climate scores, placing it just 11th overall 

At the other end of the scale, the IT sectors of Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Moldova are the least competitive in the region. 

“Emerging Europe’s IT potential is widely recognised but because the region covers 23 countries, the market is quite fragmented,” says Andrew Wrobel, founding partner of Emerging Europe. 

“Investors and buyers of IT services regularly reach out to us to help them navigate the region and select the best location in which to work or relocate. The IT Landscape: The Future of IT in Emerging Europe report is now there to help international investors and buyers of IT services better understand the market, both at individual country and regional level. But it is also addressed to governments in the region, as all see the sector as a driver of their economies. We believe that it will help them get a better understanding of what needs to be done to boost the sector even further,” he adds. 

The report, the first-ever independent survey of its kind to be carried out in emerging Europe, looks at the ICT sector in all 23 countries of the region using the same methodology to understand how each country contributes to the size of the regional market. 

Emerging Europe IT Competitiveness Index 2021 

Country  Rank  Points 
Poland  1  61.40 
Estonia  2  58.13 
Czechia  3  57.42 
Hungary  4  54.42 
Romania  5  51.83 
Slovenia  6  49.64 
Serbia  7  46.46 
Latvia  8  46.09 
Croatia  9  45.77 
Lithuania  10  44.18 
Ukraine  11  44.12 
Bulgaria  12  43.67 
Slovakia  13  43.16 
Belarus  14  42.81 
Armenia  15  40.26 
Georgia  16  39.56 
Albania  17  38.93 
Kosovo  18  38.46 
Montenegro  19  35.84 
Azerbaijan  20  33.02 
Bosnia and Herzegovina  21  32.99 
North Macedonia  22  32.99 
Moldova  23  31.13 

 

Some regional and country-specific findings: 

  • The total number of IT professionals employed in the sector across the 23 countries of emerging Europe amounted to 1.99 million and is expected to reach 2.09 million by the end of 2021. Poland has the highest number of IT professionals, 440,500 in 2019, followed by Ukraine with 289,200.  
  • Even though Ukraine’s ICT cohort is the region’s second-highest and the country is home to the region’s largest number of global IT companies (according to the 2021 IAOP Global Outsourcing 100), the number of ICT specialists per 100,000 population is emerging Europe’s fifth-lowest. In 2019, however, Ukraine had almost 106,500 IT students and 28,300 IT graduates, which is 35 per cent and 28 per cent of the region’s total respectively, which creates a strong foundation for the sector’s future development. 
  • Across the region, the average gross salary in IT amounted to 1,583 euros in 2019, with Slovenia paying its IT workers the highest amount, and Georgia the lowest. The lowest gap between the average salary in the economy and the average salary in IT is also in Slovenia – 31 per cent, while in Belarus IT salaries are 191 per cent higher than the average in the economy. 
  • Hungary scored the highest in the IT talent component due to the highest annual increase in the number of IT students, IT graduates, IT students per capita and IT graduates per capita, as well as high positions in the English Proficiency Index and the International Mathematical Olympiad.  
  • In the IT talent component, Hungary is followed by Serbia, Poland, Ukraine, and Albania. Albania is ranked the highest in terms of the number of IT graduates per capita  81 per 100,000 people in 2018 – and is expected to rise going forward. It also has highly competitive salaries in IT (651 euros). 
  • Two-thirds of IT value-added in the region is created by five emerging Europe countries: Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Czechia and Hungary.  
  • The development of the IT sector as seen by value-added and exportis the highest in Poland, followed by Czechia, Estonia, Romania, and Hungary.  
  • There are three countries with more than six per cent of IT value-added in the GDP – Estonia, Bulgaria, and Belarus – and two countries with less than two per cent  Azerbaijan and Kosovo. 

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To download a free copy of the report, go to https://emergingeurope.kartra.com/page/it-landscape-report 

For more information about the report or for comments and media enquiries, contact: 

Andrew Wrobel, Founding Partner, Emerging Europe – andrew@emerging-europe.com 

Additional comments from industry experts – Online launch session on 25 February 2021 

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Emerging Europe is a news, intelligence and community platform focused on 23 countries of Central, Eastern, South-Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus.  

Headquartered in London, with analysts and correspondents on the ground in key locations across the region we are well-placed to react to major events and set the agenda for constructive debate.  

Its independent insight is relied upon by more than 2.5 million people, who use it to form their opinions of emerging Europe and base their business decisions. 

The organisation also runs multiple initiatives highlighting the region’s sustainable and innovation-driven development, e.g., the Future of Emerging Europe, or communities connecting the region with the world and the world with the region, including Tech Emerging Europe Advocates.