The IT sector is recognised as the economic segment with the greatest potential for the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
According to the publication of the Vojvodina ICT cluster on the state of the IT sector in Serbia, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Kragujevac and Niš are cited as the most developed IT centres, followed by Subotica and Zrenjanin.
“Although these numbers are still far from the EU average of EUR 800 investment in IT per capita, if we maintain the current growth rate until 2025 the per capita investment in the IT sector would amount to EUR 150. This trend also indicates that there is potential for digital transformation in the domestic market, which needs to be faster and better utilized with targeted state measures in accordance with the available potential of the national IT sector,” said Milan Solaja, director of the Vojvodina ICT cluster, which is the author of the study.
The IT sector in Serbia continued its long-term growth trend and led to an increase in the volume of work for international markets, in particular towards the export of IT services.
On the other hand, the IT sector also made progress in the domestic market, which after several years of stagnation. recorded double-digit growth and increased the rate of investment in IT to over EUR 80 per capita.
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Although the sector has been growing steadily until the end of the first quarter of this year, the crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has affected ICT too.
According to research, since the beginning of the crisis, two-thirds of companies have so far reported a drop in demand, letting go of workers and a decline in short-term revenues.
In terms of company distribution, the IT sector is more developed in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac. “Novi Sad stands out as the city with the highest number of IT experts per capita, but also a place where a disproportionately large number of companies with products reaching the global market come from. That’s why this city has an excellent chance to position itself as a regional IT hub,” added Solaja.
Currently, 8 of the top 10 software companies in Serbia are foreign owned. During 2019, 337 software companies were established, an all-time high.
However, it took on average more than a decade for Serbian IT companies to go from startups to large companies.
“Serbia is somewhere in the middle on the global technology scale, but when assessing the position of our country we need to consider a broader picture in which 80% of investments in new technologies are made in 20% of the countries, which means that the gap created through global information capitalism is still quite wide,” concluded Solaja.
(Vesti Online, 18.05.2020)
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