To catch a leaving train
wo IT events, which a few years ago would have been considered outstanding today were hardly noticed by the mass media: 1st Siberian Forum of IT-clusters and the appearance of first self-regulated IT organization.
Journalists of Omsk business journal made a try to answer one urgent question: 'Is there a chance for Omsk to get its niche in the IT market or is it going to only make use of others' products.'
IT industry is obviously not considered as a pushing one for Omsk region, it has even been excluded from the current regional development strategy. Such neglect is quite common and not surprising. A unanimous opinion is that Russia lags far behind western countries in IT sphere, but the statistic figures prove the reality to be quite opposite. IT export share is constantly growing, Russian IT companies are among 100 top outsourcers, Russian universities produce highly qualified IT professionals. Today all world countries are focused on digital market development, since its advantages are obvious.
What comes first?
An acute question - who should be the initiator of the interaction – business or government was in the heart of the discussion. The initiative should be mutual, communication should be concrete and based on particular figures, numbers and results. Otherwise the interaction is doomed to fail.
Business is the primary initiative
The president of non-commercial organization Russoft Valentine Makarov shares this point of view. Russoft which was hardly noticeable or influential 14 years ago, has reached by today such a scale that it cannot be ignored by the government any more. This interaction has by now resulted in tax reduction and other preferences for the industry.
It is difficult to say for sure whether Omsk has a sufficient amount of competing and collaborating companies. But one thing is certain there are good conditions for creating a regional IT-cluster, especially with the amount of existing human resources involved in the industry. To have clear figures Russoft uses its own methods of measuring resources. In Omsk region it is difficult to evaluate the scale of the IT market. Enterprises definitely need IT services but the cooperation between them and IT outsourcers has not been put on the right track yet.
If you want it
Governmental support can help IT enterprises with self-evaluation of expenses spent on production
Auditing will allow the enterprises to optimize spending and modernize the production. The access to the market is a key condition for IT-industry, which has its difficulties. For certain reasons Russian companies compete more successfully with foreign rivals than with home ones. Therefore the issue of import substitution is quite acute today. Any country's companies cannot satisfy the home market by themselves, a cooperation of IT-clusters is absolutely necessary, which is one of Russoft's key goals. Today the partnership provides opportunities for sharing information between companies about their resources and projects.
At the end of the forum a three-party agreement was made by Omsk regional government, Russoft, and IT-cluster of Siberia. It is obvious that the agreement will only be efficient when all three parts are actively interacting to find mutually profitable solutions to the existing problems. The collaboration will include finding prospect customers, human resources, and promoting the industry in general, making it attractive to potential employees.