The war between Russia and Ukraine grabbed headlines across the world. But, what was perhaps the most baffling aspect of this wartime phase, was the growth of the IT segment in Ukraine.
The resilience shown by the IT workers in the country is truly commendable. When the whole world expected the economy of Ukraine to be crushed, these workers not only kept on their good work, but they actually stepped up the ante!
In 2021, before the aggression by Russia began, the tech segment of Ukraine accounted for only 3.5% of the country’s GDP. In 2022, during the wartime phase, this figure grew by almost 10%, leading to a total of $6 billion worth of export earnings. The city that played a major role in pushing these numbers was Kharkiv, which is situated very close to the Russian border and was one of the first areas to be invaded by Russian forces.
It was mostly smart thinking and quick planning on the part of the company heads that made this huge task possible. And now, the IT sector is beginning to serve as one of the primary drivers of post-war economic reconstruction in the country.
How This Was Made Possible
The two main aspects that kept the IT sector in Ukraine alive and pumping, even in the midst of a full-scale invasion, were effective plans for business continuity and instant diversification. Companies decide overnight that they would shift to a remote working mode so that employees can flee to areas that are less affected by the war, and still continue to persevere and serve the clients.
Companies such as Microsoft, a web application developer based in Kharkiv, ensured that it would shut all of its offices as soon as the Russian forces began to enter the city. Their first priority was to ensure the safety of the employees, and once that was achieved, it was time to ensure that all contracts from clients were met.
Although co-founder Maxim Ivanov mentions that their customers, mostly based in Europe and US, were ready to pay for any missed deadlines since the situation drew global sympathy. They, along with other IT companies such as Sigma Software, actively contributed to the state for rebuilding operations and also provided staff to the front lines.
Experience From Covid Helped In Making Quick Decisions
When Covid hit Ukraine and lockdowns followed, these companies had to make quick decisions regarding how to move towards a remote working plan. These plans were rescued when the war began. While it is unfair to draw comparisons, it is also true that the experience counted.
CEOs and HR teams could strategize effectively, move their workforce out to safer areas, and rebuild operations. Their primary aim was to send a message to the world that IT companies from Ukraine could still be hired, and they would meet their deadlines.
Many of these companies also helped to rebuild the digital networks in the country, and IT suppliers also stepped up to build makeshift power stations and internet sources.
Overall, it was teamwork, innovation, and strong human will that won the day. While the devastation of the war is yet to be received, the Ukrainian IT segment stood as an example of how tech can be the force of good that it was meant to be.
Manager Research & Editor, Industry Media Solution Group – CyberMedia Research