Could IT arise from the Ukraine turmoil stronger?

I was one told by someone that It suppliers have an attitude of “any news is good news.” What they meant is if a journalist is writing about you in a reputable magazine it is good news even if the actual news isn’t good.

In other words if you are on the journalists radar it is good news.

The troubles in Ukraine, a country still in limbo, have certainly increased the number of IT stories about the country in my inbox.

I was actually looking at Ukraine’s IT services sector before the troubles really kicked off because a contact of mine, Sam Kingston, told me he was leaving T-Systems, where he was UK head, and joining Kiev based Ciklum as COO.

We also wrote an analysis about the country’s IT sector back in 2011.

But there is nothing like a world event to bring focus on a nation. I hope it isn’t all negative.
The Ukrainian IT sector is certainly pulling out the stops to get its message out loud and clear. Just this week I have received two separate press releases about how the Ukrainian IT industry is reacting to the political crisis.

The first was about the Ukrainian government and IT Industry’s plan to position Ukraine as a European IT powerhouse by 2020. It has launched a working group.

“We wish to transform the Ukrainian economy from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy” said Pavlo Sheremeta Minister of Economical Development and Trade.

The plan wants to create 100,000 new jobs in the IT sector by 2020 and generate over $10bn export revenues from IT services (mainly from EU and the US). It also wants a $1bn investment in modernizing the Ukrainian education system.

Then I had something sent to me about how despite the troubles Ukrainian IT Industry growing. The press release was about the launch of Ukrainian Information Technology (IT) Development Center.

Its founder Ihor Pidruchny hopes to raise awareness to promote the Ukrainian IT industry. It  will feature a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to encourage interaction with Ukrainian IT talent. The initiative’s mission is to let the world know that despite the current political situation, the Ukrainian IT industry is going strong.

Many in the IT services sector see countries in central and Eastern Europe as the main threat to India’s offshore dominance. These nearshore destinations as they are known offer lower costs but close proximity. They also have a very strong IT skills base, party the legacy of the former Soviet Union.

Read this written in 2011: Outsourcing in the Ukraine: benefits and drawbacks

Also read: Report on Central and Eastern European nearshoring.