Outsourcing software development and other IT functions is a powerful trend on a global scale. An increasing number of companies decide to outsource parts of or the entire process of building software solutions. And many of them are starting to realize that the usual outsourcing destination such as India may present a cost-effective solution, but rarely come with the desired quality. This era of outsourcing is now over thanks to the rise of outsourcing providers who bet on quality as their competitive advantage. That’s why Eastern and Central European countries have become such a prominent outsourcing destination today.
In this article, we focus on a specific city located in Poland – Krakow – to give you an overview of its IT market and show you why outsourcing software development to Krakow is a smart move.
But let’s start with the basics.
What is outsourcing software development all about?
Companies that want to build software or get other IT services can either build an internal team of experts or delegate the task to another company. The former approach presents many advantages, but also many drawbacks. In a nutshell, recruiting IT experts are expensive and time-consuming. And once you have them on board, you need to maintain your team – which generates other significant expenses.
Outsourcing is the answer to these pain points.
Benefits of outsourcing
By outsourcing software development and IT functions, you:
- Get scalable teams that can be made larger and smaller to match the unique requirements of your project.
- Tap into the global talent pool and benefit from the expertise of professionals who are really hard to hire.
- Benefit from the experience of the outsourcing provider. Experienced companies deliver projects to many organizations, and their experts acquire domain knowledge, becoming more proficient at serving different industries.
Why outsource software development to Poland?
Here are a few good reasons why Poland makes such an attractive outsourcing destination.
- Poland has a stable and healthy economy – between the years 1990 and 2015, Poland noted the largest GDP growth per capita among the European and OECD countries – and the country’s economy continues to thrive.
- Poland offers a highly-skilled workforce – according to HackerRank, Polish developers are in the top 3 of developers coming from countries all over the world. Polish teams regularly win international hackathons too. Did you know that Polish developers tend to be among the most experienced in the world when it comes to prior coding experience at the time they enter the job market.
- High level of education – and it’s all thanks to the remarkable quality of education they get at universities and other educational institutions in the major cities of the country (Krakow’s AGH University of Science and Technology is a major hub). Every year, some 80 thousand students major in IT or IT-related fields.
- The Polish IT market is growing – and at a stable rate of 5-10% per year. Poland has become a top destination for Research & Development Centers, recognizing the talent and drive to the innovation of the local workforce.
- Western professional standards – Polish IT companies follow the same standards you find in countries such as the US, UK, Germany, and France. English is a commonly spoken language (Poland ranked 13th for English skills), and workers are used to the Western ways of managing work and organizations that make outsourcing very easy (for example, agile methodologies of project management like Scrum).
- Poland has an advanced technology infrastructure – the country has High-Performance Computing centers and many other institutions that regulate and manage Poland’s e-infrastructure.
- Poland is close to the major European financial centers – if proximity to major European financial centers such as London, Paris, or Frankfurt is key for your business, Poland is an excellent outsourcing destination because it’s close to all of them (geographically, but also as a member of the European Union)
Poland: competition in the local IT market
Did you know that the Polish IT community accounts for almost 25% of the entire population of developers in the Central and Eastern European region?
When it comes to IT, you can choose from 5 major IT hubs:
- Warsaw (Poland’s capital),
- Tri-city (the combined area of Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot),
These five major IT hubs employ over 80% of all IT professionals in Poland, with the majority of them living in Warsaw and Krakow.
Thanks to the skills and talent found in all of these cities (and beyond), the 2019 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index rated Poland as the 24th most attractive outsourcing location.
Poland is home to over 500 R&D facilities and companies, including global tech giants such as Google, Samsung, and IBM. Many of these centers are located in or close to these five IT hubs. Companies like ABB, Siemens, Motorola, Delphi Automotive, Intel, and McKinsey also decided to open their R&D centers in Poland.
All of the cities we mentioned above have at least one airport that offers a good number of international flights and connections to major cities in Europe, the UK, and the US. You can reach Poland within 1.5-2.5 hours from any European country. When flying from the US, it will take you between 9 and 12 hours for the East Coast and West Coast, respectively. If you decide to outsource software development to Poland, you can visit the team easily.
Krakow IT sector and business landscape
Let’s focus on the city of Krakow now.
Krakow is a real IT center thanks to the presence of recognized technical universities such as the AGH University of Science and Technology or the Krakow University of Technology. Moreover, large enterprises such as IBM, Cisco, Comarch, and Integer have an impact on the city’s tech scene.
But Krakow isn’t all about the tech giants. The city boasts a thriving startup community that drives innovation in the most demanding technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things like Estimote, Brainly, Kontakt.io, Synerise, and many more. Thanks to this context, Krakow is an excellent place for outsourcing projects that require a complex approach to product development.
Krakow – top outsourcing destination
Here are a few good reasons why Krakow is such a great outsourcing destination for companies in need of IT talent.
Talent and skills
Krakow is a top destination for both the quality and quantity of software developers because the city offers excellent education and employment opportunities. Krakow houses an estimated 170,000 students, among them future IT experts studying at the AGH University of Technology, the Tadeusz Kościuszko University of Technology, or the Jagiellonian University.
Decades of successful cooperation with companies located in Europe, the UK, and the US contributed to shaping Krakow’s business culture, which is very similar to Western countries. That’s why outsourcing to Krakow-based companies is so easy – these tech experts have gained professional experience while working for international or global companies.
Location in the heart of Europe
Remote collaborations can be tricky, but Krakow’s unique geographical location makes it so much easier. There are plenty of cheap flight connections and many new ones are being opened regularly. European companies will experience a minimal difference in time zone, while organizations from the US will also find the time difference manageable. Note that Krakow is only six hours ahead of the East Coast, making it a far more attractive location than any city in Southeast Asia.
Vibrant tech ecosystem
Krakow promotes innovation like no other city. The most successful Polish startups were created there. Moreover, Krakow’s tech ecosystem makes it easy for tech people to boost their skills, learn new things, and approach problems in entirely different ways. Krakow is home to hundreds of meetups and conferences that bring together people from broad areas like mobile development to specialized technologies like IoT, especially thanks to the beacon giants Estimote and Kontakt.io.
Agile is the way
You probably know the ACE! Series of Agile conferences organized by Paul Klipp. It’s the largest event of this kind in Central Europe, and it takes place in Krakow. The local software companies can take advantage of this and many more resources in shaping their approach to building software. As a result, they offer outsourcing services that come with outstanding quality and match the work organization in their client tech teams.
Thanks to its accessible location, wealth of IT talent, and vibrant tech ecosystem, Krakow is easily one of the best outsourcing destinations in Central and Eastern Europe. No wonder that Krakow has become an attractive place for so many outsourcing providers skilled in various tech areas.