A company that runs Nearshore IT development centers in Pland is in the best of company. Global players such as Microsoft, Oracle, IBM or Credit Suisse operate large research centres or BPO service centres here. As do hundreds of other companies. Let’s take a closer look at that IT nearshoring location: Some facts and figures as well as my personal experience from IT nearshoring projects with Poland.

IT Nearshoring in Poland: Talent pool and qualification

Poland has undoubtedly established itself as an IT location; about 15,000 computer scientists graduate here every year, and the talent pool of IT professionals totals between 250,000 and 300,000 (for comparison take a look at Germany: about 900,000).

How attractive is Poland for IT operations and software development? – Let’s take a look at the quality of training, the quality-mindedness of software developers and similar criteria. Actually, Poland meets these criteria. Not least the recent announcement of a investment of USD 1 billion in a data centre for the provision of cloud services by Microsoft gives a boost to the IT hub Poland; this is the largest IT investment ever made in the country.

If you did your homework on research about Poland, you certainly came across a much-cited country ranking of hackerrank.com: The portal regularly posts tasks or coding challenges on the net and assigns a scoring for each submitted solution (according to information from HackerRank, around 1.5 million developers worldwide take part); on this basis, a country profile is created which is then incorporated into a country ranking. Poland comes third.

But can you really trust these result? Is this a good methodology? Israel, for example, scores significantly worse than Greece or Chile. That’s weird. However, although the ranking may not claim to be absolute, this positive ranking is an indicator. You may consider this ranking as one of many indicators in the overall assessment of Poland as an IT location.

Ranking of Countries by Achieved Score in Hacker ChallengesFig.: Ranking of Countries by Achieved Score in Hacker Challenges

Last but not least: Even according to our own experience, the quality orientation in the cooperation with Polish software developers is high.

IT Nearshoring in Poland: Cost advantage

Browsing the Internet on Nearshore IT development in Poland, one also comes across statements such as “The wage level can be up to 50% below that of German employees”. Honestly, I think this is a misleading statement. Are take that one: “This is how a web developer in Poland earns 51.000 € on average”. Or “If someone wants to have PHP programmed or wants to rent a Ruby developer, in Poland you have to pay a salary of 70.000 USD per year.” – Who published such figures? If these figures come from IT Nearshore providers with IT development centers in Ukraine or Belarus, well, think twice about it. Depending on the source of these figures (and the business interest behind these figures) the salaries are either too low (providers of IT nearshore services in Poland) or too high (providers of IT services in Ukraine or Belarus).

In my experience, the personnel costs for IT developers in Poland are about 20 to 30 percent below the cost level in Germany. Of course, this is strongly dependent on the location and the desired technology stack.

IT Nearshoring in Poland: EU legal area & geographical proximity

A further advantage of the IT nearshoring location Poland is without doubt the country’s membership of the European Union. Poland is part of Schengen, the cooperation in the context of meetings and developer workshops does not have to consider any restrictions on business trips, a visa is not required. (Compare also the article: Remote Management: Powered by Digitalization)

At the time of writing this article, I myself am sitting in the capital Berlin; the journey to an IT development center in Szczecin just behind the German-Polish border takes me barely 2 hours (no matter if by car or train).

Even more important: In Poland, the legal framework of the EU applies. This can be highly relevant in connection with data protection and information processing. In isolated software development projects the underlying data may not leave the legal sphere of the EU.

IT Nearshoring in Poland: First steps

This blog “BytesForBusiness” was co-developed by a Polish agency with which I have had good experience in cooperation (project language of course English): brandoo.pl/

At the time of publishing this article, I am also managing director of a company with two IT development centers in Poland: codelab.eu. This is a long-established software development service provider with around 200 employees at two competence centers in Szczecin and Wrocław. The company has many years of expertise in the development of software solutions for the automotive and telecommunications industries, with well-known Tier 1 automotive suppliers among its customers. The company also develops solutions for the eCommerce and medical technology sectors. The focus is on the development of embedded software systems, IoT solutions, connectivity and web portals. If you are interested in a non-binding presentation, please call me or send me an email. I am looking forward to provide you more interesting details!

Sebastian Zang
Author

The author is a manager in the software industry with international expertise: Authorized officer at one of the large consulting firms - Responsible for setting up an IT development center at the Bangalore offshore location - Director M&A at a software company in Berlin.