On November 11, 2015, Intersog attended the Norwegian-Ukrainian ICT Investment Conference in Oslo organized by the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, IKT Norge and EBA. The key focus of the Conference was to explore potential areas of cooperation between Norway and Ukraine with regards to IT innovation.

Amongst keynote speakers were heads of Norwegian and Ukrainian organizations such as IKT Norge, Seed Forum, EBA, Innovation Norway and Brain Basket Foundation, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende, Ukraine’s Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Okeksiy Pavlekno, as well as thought leaders such as French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.

Bernard-Henri Levy

Ukraine is the sentinel of Europe, says Bernard-Henri Levy, French philosopher, public intellectual and writer; picture: intersog.com

Traditionally, we’re sharing some of the most interesting and thought-provoking insights and Conference takeaways with our readership.

  • In 2014, IT exports from Ukraine to Norway accounted for over $140 million, while Ukraine’s global IT exports accounted for $4.6 billion
  • Over the past 10 years, Ukrainian IT exports accounted for 49% CAGR, according to EBA
  • Over 2,000 Ukrainian software engineers are already involved in building software for Norwegian companies through outsourcing delivery centers
  • According to Børge Brende, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, today Ukraine badly needs support from the international ICT community and, despite war in the East, keeps offering favorable conditions for delivery of digital solutions at the highest quality level able to meet current demand from Norway
ict cooperation between ukraine and norway

Panel discussion at Norwegian-Ukrainian ICT Investment conference; picture: intersog.com

  • Although Norway is ahead of the curve in terms of MedTech, web and mobile design, and digital media solutions, one of the biggest issues the country is facing now is the lack of skilled IT talent with proper business understanding, as mentioned by Roger Schjerva and Heidi Austlid from IKT Norge
  • On average, it takes Norwegian companies 4 to over 6 months to hire a skilled software developer which hinders significantly time to market and project scalability
  • Norway’s investments in Ukrainian industries has seen a 10x increase in recent months; the key areas of Ukrainian economy that are receiving Norwegian investments are energy, IT and agriculture.
ict investments norway to ukraine

Intersog's team at Norwegian-Ukrainian ICT Investment Conference

  • As m2m communications are gaining momentum, there’s a huge yet untapped potential for telecom outsourcing and nearshoring
  • According to Arne Mjøs, CEO of Itera ASA, the best way to estimate cost saving in an outsourcing relationship is to have a hybrid software development team, i.e. onshore + offshore / nearshore
  • As of today, Ukraine’s IT Outsourcing employs over 74,000 professionals and this number is expected to grow to 180,000 by 2020 (source: EBA)
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James Sherr, Associate Fellow at Chatham House and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, shared his five rules of building a positive working relationship with Ukraine-based IT service providers:

  1. Learn informal rules of doing business in Ukraine
  2. Build connections and alliances within Ukraine prior to conducting search for local providers
  3. Prepare to spend some time in non-business activities such as building close relationships with your nearshore team, as shared vision and buy-in from all team members are crucial for project success in Ukraine
  4. Have patience
  5. Always have Plan B

By the way, Intersog has developed a unique value proposition for Nordic companies looking to jump fast on technology innovation train, check it out!

See video footage from the Conference below:

Vik is our Brand Journalist and Head of Online Marketing / PR with 11+ years of international experience in IT B2B. He's also a guest blog contributor to Business2community, SitePoint, Journal of mHealth, Wearable Valley and other IT portals. You can contact him directly on LinkedIn.

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