IT world has taken everyone and everything. It’s a sheer force that nobody can meddle with.
Countries such as the USA, Russia, China, Japan, etc. have become giants in that area. Seems that nobody can stop them and that it's them, who set the standard and trends for the rest of the world.
Our question of today is, what do “little” countries have to offer? More precisely, what do Bosnia and Herzegovina offer to the rest of the world, and what did the IT system bring to BiH and the Balkan region?
Those questions and many more will be answered throughout this blog.
What is the general state of IT in Balkan?
When you think about IT, we know that your mind doesn’t automatically think about the Balkans;
Somehow, poetically, we’re glad that’s the general opinion because the reality of the IT sector in the Balkans is surprisingly (for you, maybe) going great!
“With a yearly growth rate of 25%, the flourishing global business process and technology outsourcing (BPTO) market offers the Western Balkans many opportunities for economic development. Although India captures close to 60% of this market share, the Western Balkans has emerged as a strong contender in three segments: software development, back-office development, and call centers. Its cost competitiveness, proximity to the EU market, as well as strong language skills of its workers positions the region strongly in the competition to attract BPTO providers.
As we can see in the study shown above, the Balkan region is a strong contender that has no intention of stopping.
Although Balkan has potential, the key of the problem is in that word ‘has’:
Traditional schooling and education do not provide a sense of direction towards IT.
The complex, bureaucratic, and political nature of the education system in the Balkans means that curricula are slow and difficult to change.
IT sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina
As Bosnia and Herzegovina faced many challenges throughout history, the aftermath of such a reality was Bosnia and Herzegovina falling back massively over other countries.
IT sector was not an exception: Recent increase in such may talk differently, but considering that the number of needed technology capable people are in thousands, Bosnia and Herzegovina still has a long way to go. Another thing that doesn’t help is countries demographics: Young people, as well as middle-aged people, are constantly leaving for other foreign countries, in hope that they will find a better tomorrow.
But to breakdown the numbers, and get more of a realistic picture of how Bosnia and Herzegovina look like, we’ll go through some statistics:
According to data collected in the research of the consulting company PwC from 2018, the most represented industries in which domestic IT companies perform activities are banking and financial services (8%), E-commerce and web (10%), health (7%), manufacturing (9%), public administration (9%), retail (7%), transport (7%), education (9%).
-In 2017, 557 companies were registered within the IT sector. That number increased to 632 in 2018, and to 701 in 2019. In the period from 2017 to 2019, the number of IT companies in BiH increased by 144.
-In 2019, out of the total number of companies in the IT sector, 75.2% generate revenue of up to half a million KM, 20.7% of companies up to 5 million KM, and 4.1% of companies more than 5 million KM.
-The number of workers in the IT sector has grown significantly and amounts to 1569 or 35% in the last three years.
-The average monthly gross salary of workers in companies in the IT sector in 2019 amounted to 2,722.00.00 KM or 1,391.00 EUR. This means that workers in accounting companies are paid an average of 16 KM per hour or 8 EUR per hour.
-Monthly income per employee is 108,897.00 KM or 55,678.00 EUR. The average hourly income per employee is 54 KM or 28 EUR.
-Total sales revenue in 2018 increased by 84 million KM compared to 2017. The trend of revenue growth continues in 2019 and amounts to 181 million KM. Which means it has doubled over the previous year. Sales revenue growth also increased by 62% in the period 2017-2019.
-The total annual profit of the IT sector in BiH has been constantly growing in the last 3 years. More precisely, in 2019, an increase of 54% was recorded compared to 2017.
In conclusion, what BiH fights the most with is the IT workers deficit, but the fact that nobody with a degree in the IT sector is fighting unemployment helps a lot. We are aware that BiH has still a long way to go, but judging with all the factors included and the statistics above, it’s going there surely and firmly.
Pros and cons of IT’s system
With the rapid growth of the IT sector in BiH, a dynamic pace assures but the question is, is that system self-sustainable? Is it like the crash game where the upright measure is growing but only to be doomed to crash? As every system with a competitive line, it brings its own pros and cons. Let’s look into them:
-Improve current products and/services.
-Develop new products and/or services.
-Hire, train and retain good employees.
-Attract new customers.
-Have more opportunities to form beneficial partnerships.
-Pressure to grow could cause business owners to overlook resource availability
-Productivity and quality are likely to drop if management and staff cannot cope with the extra work
-Hasty staffing may lead to poor job fit and high turnover
-A fast growth may also cause a loss of customer intimacy
-The business may become too busy and self-absorbed to notice the changing competitive landscape and customer behavior.
With the technology developing, infrastructure may be the one that will be the first for an update. Therefore, the IT sector is signaling, even now that it is the time for a change. A change tailored towards that sector because IT has been so influential that the only thing that has been left to question is its ethics as the development continues.
Is IT open to the public?
BiH is a young country, compared to the other tech giants. Even so, it promises and shows great potential. Although, it has still few more obstacles to pass before it even enters the beta-phase:
Traditional schooling in BiH doesn’t give out much direction towards IT but luckily, there are software companies who are doing those things instead of it.
They’re promoting and creating IT-related content on their social media, they’re organizing contests, workshops, courses, and many more things, all in favor of attracting people to IT.
It's an unconventional thing for B, for sure, but with the help of software companies, it paves its way towards an uprise in tech education.