When relocating IT & development services from Ukraine, what countries are considered low-risk for relocation of services? Criteria should include the availability of IT-trained resources by third-party contractors, infrastructure stability, cybersecurity index, political and economic stability, unemployment rate, corruption, violence, sanctions, strikes, terrorism, and cross-border disputes.
GLOBAL STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE AND PRODUCT RISK MANAGER, MAJOR US-BASED TECH COMPANY
IT services are available in almost all EU nations, with similar access to talent and high cyber and physical security standards. If a lower-cost market is required, the Philippines and India are also options. One option that might be worth considering is the relocation of Ukrainian staff to Poland or another bordering country. Currently there are efforts underway to organize working rights legislation around refugees from Ukraine. The PR optics of a move like this would be significantly less dangerous than being seen as abandoning operations in Ukraine. While the latter may be very reasonable from a business continuity perspective, the sympathies around Ukraine make this a highly risky decision, should media reporting pick up on it.
MANAGING PARTNER OF EMERGING MARKETS RESEARCH FIRM
Ukraine’s IT industry will move to Western Europe. There are already offers being made on social media for IT and development firms to share office space throughout the continent. While it would be less expensive to relocate to the Middle East, Central or South Asia – where infrastructure and expertise is readily available – choices will be made based on safety, security, and support for sanctions during the war. Financial assistance via loans/grants will also be available in the EU/UK which will be critical for rebuilding businesses. Consideration may also be given to existing financial ties with Austria’s Raiffeisen, Hungary’s OTP, and France’s Credit Agricole (the biggest non-Russian lenders prior to the war), although Hungary’s sanctions support was tepid.
MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT, BIG FOUR TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSFORMATION PRACTICE
I have been involved in many IT relocation projects myself, and I would choose the following countries, in this order: 1) Poland, 2) Romania, 3) Netherlands. In the longer term, companies will also be moving their IT assets to countries like India, the Philippines, and Mexico. These are attractive options for the long term with respect to pricing and scalability of operations.