LONDON (27 April 2022) — Tech businesses in Ukraine are back to "90 percent efficiency," and ready for new contracts and investment from the UK, according to IT associations in the two countries.
The IT Ukraine Association and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, have called on organisations around the world to give the country's tech consultancies serious consideration when tendering for contracts.
IT Ukraine and BCS say Ukraine computing specialists are open for business – and they are ready to fill the gap that now that many Western companies no longer work with Russian consultancies.
IT Ukraine, a trade association with 75,000 members, added that the Russian cyber threat was "another myth which we have disproved again and again." The group has conducted research showing industry is now running at '90% efficiency' in terms of meeting commitments to clients. It is ready discuss partnerships and link Ukrainian IT experts up with interested companies.
BCS, the professional body for information technology, has offered any Ukrainian IT specialist membership without any cost, including use of office space at its London office, networking and advice from its current members.
Konstantin Vasyuk, Executive Director of IT Ukraine Association said: "We are not asking for donations or charity; just for more trust in our business and in our ability to operate in the current situation. You see these awful pictures of destroyed buildings, but we have managed to save our business and our tech industry. Now this business is going strong, we want to tell the world and share this information."
Vasyuk added on a Teams call with BCS: "We were supposed to have been met by the second strongest army in the world – our people and soldiers on the front know Russia is not the second strongest army in the world anymore; and it is the same regarding cyber security. The claim that Russia's cyber army is one of the world's strongest is another myth which we have disproved again and again.
"I can't go into details about the matter, until after the war ends, but in general, the expertise and experience of cyber professionals in Ukraine is world class as is our work in other areas, such as AI, which we have been building for years and it works super efficiently now."
Ukraine's well-developed infrastructure and fibre-optic network have all helped the stability of internet connectivity – and this has been supported by 5,000 of Elon Musk's Starlink devices previously supplied to Ukraine.
Vasyuk explained: "Before the war it wasn't possible to operate Starlink due to some limitations in European legislation. And in Ukraine it wasn't possible to use this officially or legally, but the situation has changed. Now they are operating. There was a record number of downloads of the Starlink application. We now have very good experience of using this equipment. It's a reserve alternative for network connections, but it helps for the regions which temporarily have problems with internet connection."
He continued: "There is a huge deficit of IT talent in world markets and we just proved that even in these conditions, we can work. We are human centric industry; there are 5000 IT companies in Ukraine and our IT business in general is very socially responsible and very flexible in its ability to find solutions.
"The most important support that companies outside Ukraine can give us is continuing with the contracts they have with us, continuing to work in partnership. Think about investment too – some of our companies are ready right now to open offices in Europe to diversify and get stronger."
"We still have some issues with site visits to customers – now we're talking with the government to maybe provide some special procedure to have business trips for two three, four weeks to customers on site so we can continue with business. Also, don't be afraid to start new projects and the more partners stop doing business with Russia, the more that will help us to win and make the enemy very weak.
Rob Deri, Chief Executive at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, based in Swindon, said: "Having spoken directly to our counterparts in the Ukraine - the message they asked us to pass on to all our members, their businesses and contacts is clear – Ukraine is open for business and what the country needs is investment. Continuing to work with them on IT projects – as well as offering them new contracts - will help them rebuild their economy and ultimately – people's lives which have been so negatively affected by the war.
"BCS is about making IT good for society and our members will do all they can to support these aims. The Institute is also offering practical help by opening our networks, expertise, and facilities to all technologists from Ukraine."