36,000 IT Specialists, 550 Tech Events and 110 Large Technology Centers – How Is the Wrocław IT Sector Developing?
At the end of 2019, a report examining the condition of the Wrocław IT sector was published, drafted by the Wrocław Agglomeration Development Agency, Invest in Wrocław and the Wrocław IT Corner Cluster, of which Unity Group is a member. The primary task was to discuss the characteristics of the Wrocław IT sector, as well as to outline the directions for its development and levels of innovation.
The following figures attest to how attractive and important Wrocław is on the map of technological areas: it is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Poland, with about 112,000 students and as many as 15,000 studying fields related to IT. According to estimates by ARAW, there are as many as 36,000 IT specialists working in 110 large IT/R&D centers and 200 start-ups. These figures confirm that the IT industry is one of the key developments and employment sectors in the Wrocław agglomeration. Wrocław’s energy and potential is also demonstrated by the number of organized tech events, with over 550 of them held per year!
The report is the product of quantitative and qualitative research conducted in May and June 2019 among companies based in the Wrocław agglomeration. The study was carried out in cooperation with the Research and Development Centre Biostat. Thanks to the CAWI method as many as 120 online surveys were completed, while individual in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 representatives of companies. The structure of responses is as follows: 44% were obtained from small and micro enterprises, 33% from medium enterprises and 23% from large enterprises with over 250 employees. The most numerous group of respondents were representatives of enterprises defined as software house/IT consulting (56%).
“Thanks to this research, we have observed that Wroclaw companies still have ambitious plans. Large corporations are willing to find even more technologically advanced processes and interesting projects in the city. Small and medium-sized companies are ready to build and design new products, develop a portfolio of services rendered and enter new markets,” Ewa Kaucz, President of the Management Board of Wrocław Agglomeration Development Agency, comments on the results of the report.
The primary clients of solutions developed by Wrocław IT companies come from the financial sector, which is in line with global trends. Other sectors include manufacturing, trade, transport and logistics.
“These are attractive sectors, which are currently undergoing digital transformation and adopting innovative solutions such as AI, Big Data or IoT. The focus put on the solutions provided for these industries in Wroclaw is in line with the direction of the EU innovation policy related to the development of Industry 4.0. This will help companies to obtain additional funds for investments and creating transformation hubs in this field,” summarizes Grzegorz Rudno-Rudziński, managing partner in Unity Group and member of the board of IT Corner.
The city itself is also an important element of the IT market. Wrocław guarantees a number of assets which are of great importance to enterprises: the size and diversity of the local market, a recognizable urban brand in Poland and abroad, and transport accessibility. All this makes Wrocław an appealing and business-friendly city, enabling it to attract new investments and establish further business relations, including with foreign entities.
The leading challenges for Wrocław’s entrepreneurs include limited access to specialized employees – as many as 62% of the respondents indicated this as a significant problem, followed by high labor costs (41%) and strong competition on the market (37%). Problems with obtaining funds for investments and difficulties in obtaining business partners were the least frequently cited as challenges, with only 13% respondents mentioning them. This clearly confirms that the climate is favorable for entrepreneurs to develop their businesses here.
As far as the future and directions for development of the Wrocław IT market are concerned, the declarations of almost all companies involved ambitious plans for the development of their service and product portfolios (95%), as well as optimistic plans to increase the number of IT team positions in companies (84%). At the same time, nearly 90% of entrepreneurs declare that their financial situation is stable.
Such results confirm that in the coming years Wrocław’s IT sector will continue its dynamic development and become an even more friendly place for investors and employees looking for jobs in IT.
As Rudno-Rudziński adds, “Likewise, this report further constitutes a valuable source of knowledge for the Wroclaw authorities, since it presents not only a local diagnosis of the local IT industry but also forecasts its developmental path. Therefore, it can be used to help lead the local ecosystem towards innovation. As far as potential investors and clients are concerned, this report can serve as an indicator pointing out the strengths of Wroclaw’s IT market, the challenges it must meet and how the local industry will be shaped in the forthcoming years.”
The full version of the report can be downloaded from the website: