According to IT Research and PwC, IT industry in Lviv and Ukraine, in general, has big perspectives for future development. In particular, according to PwC, the number of employees working in IT and related industries may grow to 250 thousand by 2020. IT Research predicts a 20% annual growth of Lviv IT. We talked with the Supervisory Board Chairman of Lviv IT Cluster and N-iX CEO Andrew Pavliv and learned in which direction IT industry should move. Read about the digital revolution, synergy and innovation triangle between Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil.
About synergy, innovation triangle and growth prospects of IT industry
“In 2016 the number of IT specialists in Lviv grew by 15%. To reach our goal – more than 30 thousand IT employees in 2020 – we need to speed up the pace of industry development. One job in IT creates 5 jobs in related industries. If we achieve our goal, this would add nearly 150 thousand work places. This is a big part of the workforce. Moreover, it will accelerate the development of the city” – says Andrew Pavliv.
The recipe for the successful development of IT consists of many components. The most important ones are – promoting jobs in IT among the youth, modernizing technical education and creating comfortable living conditions in order for IT specialists to choose Lviv.
“It is a very difficult, troublesome job that calls for the joint synergy of every institution, every company and every citizen of the city”.
According to Andrew Pavliv, similar goals are being achieved thanks to organizations like Lviv IT Cluster. The cluster’s projects apply to all of these areas, and he hopes that this work will be even more intense.
“We need to continue working on projects related to improving the welfare of IT employees. These are projects like IT House which help to feel more comfortable living in the city. A proper flight connection is equally important for comfortable living conditions. Thus, IT Jet project, in particular, the study of flights conducted by IT specialists and an attempt to influence the number of flights in Lviv airport will also attract new IT employees to work and live in Lviv. It is a common thing, that IT specialists coming here have 4-5 or more years of work experience. They are rather well-off already, thus, comfort is among their requirements to the city – in particular, an ability to travel around easily. This is important for clients as well. Increasing the number of clients will lead to increasing the number of IT specialists” – says Andrew Pavliv.
Furthermore, he speaks about promoting Lviv as an IT-hub. Projects like Lviv IT Arena and Innovation District IT Park are contributing to the city’s promotion. They have gained a lot of publicity recently, thus a lot of Lvivites and Ukrainians, in general, know about IT in Lviv thanks to these projects.
“To make IT employees remain in Lviv, education should be developing rapidly as well. A lot of professionals are ready to relocate only for their kids to get a quality education. Thus, the city has to work on this – in order to expand the variety of education options”.
According to Andrew Pavliv, these are the three components which will provide comfortable living conditions for IT specialists in Lviv. Otherwise, they will move to other cities, looking for better conditions. Especially since the competition for staff is rather serious in Ukraine.
By the way, in order to improve the competitiveness of Lviv on Ukrainian and global markets, Andrew Pavliv suggests to unite Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk in a so-called innovative triangle (on the model of the innovative triangle between Toronto, Kitchener and Waterloo).
“Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk – are located not far from one another, that is why their efforts can be united easily. Working this way, with a little more concept, we are uniting our 17 thousand with nearly three thousands of IT employees from these cities as well as adding their development potential“.
About digital revolution, competition and the future of IT sector
Andrew Pavliv – is a person with a strategic vision of IT development. He is constantly following global trends and extrapolates them into the development of IT industry in Lviv and Ukraine. The main prediction – a lot of new opportunities open for Ukrainian IT industry.
According to the research of the European Commission, despite the rapid development in IT, by 2020 Europe may face a shortage of IT employees amounting 900 thousand. This means, that people who will choose or have chosen the career in IT will have plenty of opportunities for development and choice of work.
Digitalization of everything – is the second trend:
“Soon there will be no companies which are not connected to IT. All companies are undergoing digital transformation. There are practically no companies that do not require digital solutions. Some industries are transforming totally. The story with Privatbank is a recent example here. What customers feared the most – was to lose the IT-system they are so used to. This means, that people are not loyal to a particular bank or brand, but to the convenience of its services” – claims Andrew Pavliv.
According to him, now companies are competing more not over their main product, but rather in the digital field. For example, Uber with its development level made Uklon improve its services and mobile app.
“Even big companies are transforming from those which require a lot of employees to digital companies without them. They have systems, which are adapted to customers and they are becoming even more convenient. This is happening in all industries” – explains Andrew Pavliv.
In his opinion, since Ukrainian companies have a huge work experience and professional developers, they can provide customers with ready digital solutions for their customers. Moreover, many clients require a quality analysis and a plan to keep their business afloat. Therefore, in the near future there will be a huge demand for digital consultants on the market.
Furthermore, Andrew Pavliv speaks about expanding opportunities for IT specialist by creating new areas such as, for instance, virtual reality.
“Prerequisites for the growth of the industry from the standpoint of trends are very big. We should work hard without slowing down. We are used to be proud of small achievements, but this has to be changed. In the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” there is a quote: “One who thinks he is a good father is not a good father; one who thinks he is a good husband is not a good husband. One who thinks he is one of the worst husbands may be a good one if he is always trying to be a good husband with a single-hearted effort.”