An IT Manager's guide to outsourcing in Poland

This is a contributed piece by Bartosz Skalski, head of Soitron Poland, and Daniel Olsson, director at Soitron UK

From location to multilingual and highly skilled IT specialists, to mention just a few of the country’s advantages, Poland has all the right qualities to stand as a strong challenger to global outsourcing leaders.

Now attracting businesses from around the globe, Poland is quickly cementing its position as one of the main players in the outsourcing world, and the leader in Europe, and, in fact, is now one of five Tier-1 Emerging-Market locations in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) according to Gartner.

Poland continues to show just how much it has to offer to organisations looking to reach their IT objectives and meet the expected and unexpected peaks and troughs. Regardless of the industry, businesses operating in today’s market conditions look to lower overheads, drive flexibility and productivity, as well as ensure ultimate and continuous scalability. However all of this needs to be achieved with shrinking budgets.

Poland proves to be able to deliver exactly that and growing numbers of global businesses now trust Poland’s IT experts to support and lead their IT projects to success.

Credit Suisse, UBS, BNY Mellon and IBM, to mention just a few, are already taking advantage of outsourcing their IT operations to Poland. Moreover, a further 30,000 jobs are expected to shift to Poland from Britain alone within the next year, following the Brexit vote. Interestingly, even German and Italian companies are now looking at near shoring to Poland to tap into the country’s rich resources for IT outsourcing.

This comes as no surprise, taking into account that the country has built a strong infrastructure ever since the fall of communism when it implemented a new government strategy which helped establish, grow and strengthen the outsourcing market in the country.

Ten years ago, Polish outsourcing was confined to just Warsaw and Kraków, however now the country has more than 16 cities, including Tri-city, Kraków, Lodz, Wroclaw, Poznan and Katowice, receiving multinational work and investment, while Kraków today has more than 30,000 specialists working in Shared Services/IT Support Centres (SCC) and Warsaw has the highest number of IT centres (130) in the country.

Furthermore, Polish IT specialists remain to be perceived as one of the best in the world and continuously demonstrate to have the expertise and the right tech-enabled tools to deliver best practices to help global businesses align their IT needs with overall business objectives. In addition to software development, IT support, finance and accounting and customer services more advanced operations are being supported and led by Poland’s experts, such as research and development and complex analysis. In fact, this now accounts for around 15% of overall operations covered by Polish outsourcing centres as growing numbers of businesses are deploying the country’s IT specialists to deliver high-end processes.

Poland’s rich talent pool is one of the country’s main appeals to global organisations - the country has one of the youngest, highly educated societies in Europe. Poles put great focus on higher education and with strong support from the government, almost half a million students graduate from Poland’s universities every year, of which almost 78,000 students graduate with degrees in technology fields and another 77,000  with economy degrees.

In addition to putting strong emphasis on education, Poland’s skilled work force stands out due to the ability of most of the country’s population to speak multiple languages.

By combining IT specialists’ linguistic skills with IT knowledge and capabilities, most centres in Poland are able to provide services in four different languages on average. This includes all major European languages such as English (supported by 89% of centres), German (53%), French (39%), Italian (29%) and Spanish (25%) while some of the most advanced centres in Poland can deliver services in about 30 languages, including Asian, Scandinavian and others.

Location remains crucial when outsourcing for many reasons and can definitely be attributed to Poland’s success as one of the leading IT and outsourcing hubs. For one, as a member of the EU, Poland adheres to strict data protection laws effective within the EU borders and, consequently, is able to provide businesses with better data security. It’s worth mentioning that with GDPR, a new set of EU’s data protection regulations coming into play next May, all organisations dealing with personal data will have to follow even tougher rules to ensure the best possible customer security requirements and will be able to provide even greater data protection to organisations outsourcing to Poland.

Furthermore, enterprises from the West find Poland to be one of the easiest places in Europe to do business due to many cultural similarities. Additionally, with many Polish citizens having migrated throughout Europe, for both studying and work, many Polish have developed a great understanding of different cultural settings and business environments. This and Polish experts’ linguistic skills together guarantees that businesses outsourcing to Poland are able to build a comfortable business relationship, barely able to tell the outsourced staff is based tens of thousands miles away. 

Attracting businesses to Poland are also lower labour costs and friendly tax regime. The country also remains the prime destination to achieve higher ROI, due to Poland having one of the fastest growing GDP in the OECD region, in spite of average wages in the country staying the same for years. In fact, with $1.114 trillion GDP Poland is ahead of Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden, and makes up roughly half of the UK’s GDP.

To conclude, delivering IT services and solutions on an outsourcing basis, Polish IT specialists offer global organisations an opportunity to receive the world’s leading best practices to reach IT objectives while also cutting costs. Whether looking to lower overheads for a short period of time or on the lookout for a trusted partner for complex, long-term projects, Poland seems to be the perfect fit, and many global organisations are already benefiting from Poland’s rich resources for outsourcing.

Exceptional IT skills, innovative tools and ability to speak multiple languages sets the Polish IT experts apart from competitors, while Poland’s location proves to build the perfect bridge between the West and East. It’s no wonder Poland is already recognised as the number one outsourcing hub in the EU and one of the top 10 most attractive outsourcing destinations in the world, according to AT Kearney’s report. Without doubt, Poland is set for big things as it continues to conquer the outsourcing world, and if you’re not looking at your options for taking advantage of all that this country has to offer, you might want to change that now.


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