of IT professionals available on the market
the estimated worth of the IT market in 2021
of tech talent being employed by foreign capital
Venture Capital companies operating on the market
Size: 312,685 sq km, ranked 69th in the world by area (comparable to New Mexico)
Population: 38.28 million, ranked 37th in the world by population
Time zone: (GMT+2)
Government: parliamentary republic
Official languages: Polish
GDP per capita, PPP: $34,217 (2019 est.)
Human Development Index: 0.872 (ranked 32nd | very high)
Currency: Polish złoty (PLN)
Economy: mixed economy, one of the fastest-growing economy in Europe
Main industries: agriculture, iron and steel, coal mining, automotive, shipbuilding, metallurgy, food production and processing, tourism
Major urban areas (over 500K people): Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Wroclaw, Poznan
Ease of doing business: ranked 40th, DB score - 76.4
Digital competitiveness index: #33 out of 63 | #33 Knowledge #37 Technology #33 Future readiness
Corruption perception index: 41/198 (up by 5 positions since 2018)
The WE Forum Global Competitiveness Report: #37, with a year to ear improvement in score
A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index: 24th
Universities: 500 universities, sixteen listed by QS World University Rankings® 2020 (two ranked 338 and 349, the rest >500)
The largest IT companies: Asseco, Comarch, Integrated Solutions, NTT System, Ericpol, CD Projekt, Sygnity, Transition Technologies, J-Labs
IT industry market share: 8% of GDP, 2.7% share in employment, 60,000 IT companies, ca. 430,000 IT specialists - incl. 250,000 programmers
EF English Proficiency Index: 63.76 *(above average)
International Olympiad in Informatics: 116 medals, 40 gold, 44 silver, 32 bronze
Poland's central location on the European map makes it a strategic gateway between East and West, always within easy reach. The country serves as a role model for successful transformation, evolving from a communist state into one of Europe's largest economies in the span of merely three decades. Since joining the EU in 2004, it has experienced unprecedented economic growth, becoming the first former Soviet bloc country to reach a developed market.
The Polish software development services market is also thriving, representing about 8% of the country’s GDP. Poland has the largest IT specialists pool in the entire CEE region. Its broad ecosystem of innovative startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, combined with robust digital infrastructure, encouraged numerous global corporations to move their operations to Warsaw, Crakow, Katowice, Wroclaw, and other outsourcing hubs.
The Polish IT sector orientates strongly towards international projects. 34% of half a million IT experts work for companies with the Polish capital, while foreign organizations employ the remaining 66%. IT services account for one-third of all Polish services exports to the USA
These numbers shouldn't be surprising considering the high profitability of foreign investments. According to a joint report by KPMG and the American Chamber of Commerce, "every dollar invested in Poland by American companies creates 50% more value than other foreign investments."
The interest of multinational tech corporations in the Polish IT market is evident. And it is easy to account for. Poland consistently ranks as one of the top three countries with the world's best programmers. Polish software developers top the charts in Java development and score second to fifth in Python, Ruby, Shell, and algorithms (source: HackerRank).
If we look at the 2017 Digital Evolution Index (the latest available), we can see Poland among digital innovation leaders. In 2018, the analysts estimated the Polish IT market's turnover to be $11.5 billion. The IT market is expected to amount to approximately $12.4 billion by 2021. The category includes the segments of IT equipment, software, and IT services.
Labor cost is likely the main concern for companies considering hiring offshore software developers from Poland. With quality comes the price. And obtaining services in a country that offers the largest and most diverse talent pool, the most reliable infrastructure, adherence to EU standards in IP protection and data security, and the greatest ease and transparency of doing business, cannot be cheap.
According to annual compensation research by NoFluffJobs, Polish Junior Software Developers earn between $1,000-$1,800 per month, depending on their skills, location, and type of contract. Mid-level experts get between $2,400-$3,700 per month, while seasoned experts earn from $4,200-$5,300. The fields of expertise that offer the best-paid jobs include BI and Big Data Analytics, while those with the lowest pay are UX and Support.
When we compare these rates to the ones in Ukraine or Belarus, it becomes obvious that Polish IT companies compete in outsourcing on expert skills, impeccable work ethic, service reliability, and ease of communication, rather than extremely low prices.
Broadly recognized for modern IT infrastructure, high economic potential, and a well-educated, highly-qualified workforce, Poland is currently the European leader in terms of the size of foreign direct investment, with the IT and tech market largely contributing to its success.
The subsequent years indicate an apparent shift away from outsourcing basic, low-skill installation and support IT tasks to the Polish workforce in favor of delegating entire projects and services to Poland-based outsourced teams. This trend also shows in some of the most recent (and noteworthy) examples of global IT and tech investments.
The largest international IT companies operating in the country (by revenue) include Dell EMC, HP Inc, Lenovo, Microsoft, and IBM Polska, followed by other prominent names such as Intel, Apple, Cisco, Oracle, Xerox, Sabre, or Google.
Before 2018, Special Economic Zones (SEZ) were operating in Poland, offering various tax exemptions to attract foreign investors. The 2018 amendment to the fiscal law replaced SEZs, turning the entire country into a special economic zone and making tax incentives available across Poland's territory on publicly and privately owned land.
The new regulations mean that the availability of tax reliefs no longer depends on the location, but it's calculated based on a variety of factors that include:
The period of tax exemption varies from 10-15 years across regions.
Additionally, the Polish regulations provide tax deductions for R&D activities, the scope of which is contingent on the company size and the type of eligible costs. These may fall into one of six categories, including employees' wages and social contributions, expertise, research and insights from scientific units, the costs of obtaining IP protection, etc.
Apart from these incentives, in 2019, the Polish government established the Innovation Box scheme. It applies a preferential, 5% tax rate applicable to income derived from IP rights (i.e., among others, author's rights to a computer program or a patent).
Poland boasts over 400 higher education institutions, including over 40 state-owned universities and nearly 20 public Institutes of Technology (Politechnika).
In the last few years, Poland has joined the most startup-friendly countries in Europe and beyond. The Polish startup ecosystem ranks 27th in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020 (a fall by seven spots compared to the previous year; still much higher than Romania – 45th, Belarus – 63rd, and above Ukraine – 29th). Several Polish cities such as Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw boast a remarkable concentration of coworking spaces, accelerators, and incubators.
In 2019, the VC funding for Polish startups increased by 800% compared to the previous year, a clear sign of the industry's vigorous growth dynamics. However, several challenges pose a serious threat to this positive trend, which shows the country's notable fall out of the top 20 global startup ecosystems list.
One culprit may be over-involvement in the public sector – bringing about red tape increases and thwarting innovation. Another issue stems from the relative immaturity of the Polish startup scene and its contributors, who often lack entrepreneurial skills and experience and focus solely on technology.
Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Poznan
Fintech, food tech, AI and RPA, data analytics, SaaS platforms
Brainly – another massively popular software platform from Poland, Brainly, is the world's largest peer-to-peer learning community. Set up in Krakow in 2009, and valued at $100-200 million, it is now available in nearly 40 countries.
SALESmanago – this Krakow-based company offers an AI-based marketing automation platform, competing in over 40 countries with HubSpot, Marketo, or GetResponse. The startup collected $7.7 million over four funding rounds.
The State of CEE IT Outsourcing and Offshoring 2021
Belarus • Poland • Romania • Ukraine
CEE countries are world-renowned for their software developers who are said to be one of the best on the globe.
There are over 1 million software developers in the CEE region, skilled in various technologies and experienced in every industry.
Software developers' hiring rates in the CEE region can be 2-3x lower when compared to the US and Western Europe.
Great English skills and vast experience in working on international projects. CEE devs have been supporting startups worldwide for years now.
Ideamotive has a huge pool of talent. Don’t just settle for someone: find a person who understands your project and has the competencies you need.
President, Luminate Enterprises
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They are very flexible, providing a team of developers on short notice and scaling the size as needed. Their team meets tight deadlines, including some that only give them a few hours to do the work.
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