In early April 2013 Antal International, in cooperation with the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, carried out a qualitative study of IT sector employers and employees. The results presented at last week’s conference are optimistic and unequivocally indicate a number of advantages arising from the development of the IT industry in Poland.
According to Pierre Audion Consultants whom the report cites, by 2015 Poland will be the second-largest market in the software and IT services sector in Central and Eastern Europe (after Russia). This will happen not only as a result of increased interest in our market from West European or American investors, but also of more numerous Asian investments.
A strong case can be made in favour of locating investments in Poland, human resources being the most significant argument: Poland has highly qualified engineers who communicate fluently in English. Polish students and graduates have been making the top places in sector competitions for years. Because academic centres are spread out all over Poland, there are no geographical barriers in access to professionals. Employees of the sector show above-average flexibility as regards mode of cooperation, which additionally speeds the completion of investments. According to respondents, Polish professionals have the big advantage of a work culture and efficiency similar to Western European standards while at the same time costs of services rendered remain lower than in comparable Western companies.
The report also indicates that employees are going through something of a stabilisation. Salary growth in the sector has slowed and the employee turnover rate has decreased: in the employees’ hierarchy of values, money has made way for relationships within companies.
The report also presents some barriers to the industry’s development. These include employees’ illusory mobility – in the survey, IT sector employees declare willingness to relocate for a job decidedly more often than people in other professions, but history shows that the opening of the German market to Poles did not cause a mass exodus to work abroad. Another barrier to development highlighted in the report is the comparatively low motivation for the vertical promotion path in company structures. The blame for this may be placed on universities, which create great engineers but not managers. However, some suggest that Polish programmers are enthusiasts – vertical mobility, and with it a significant improvement in the material situation, is not compensation enough for leaving behind a job with the new technologies that many programmers are passionate about.