Over the last three decades Poland has been constantly developing, diversifying and strengthening its economic potential. In just 30 years this country has become not only one of the most popular European countries to invest in, but also, an extremely attractive IT outsourcing destination for companies from all over the world. This trend is accelerating year to year, and it is particularly visible in the number of Japanese companies that locate their capital and open new factories and offices in Poland.
Along with Americans and Germans, the Japanese are among the key foreign investors in Poland. By locating more than 300 companies on Polish soil, Japan has created nearly 40,000 jobs. According to Yoshitaka Hoshino, Executive Vice President of JETRO, the Japan External Trade Organization, “In Central and Eastern Europe, Poland is the largest base of Japanese companies”. Read on to find out why Japanese companies are choosing Poland as a software development outsourcing destination.
Like Japan, Poland’s business culture is also based on relationships
Thanks to its location in Central Europe, Poland has for hundreds of years been a place where Eastern and Western cultures have merged. Despite Poland’s indisputable links to western culture, Poles share many cultural similarities with Japan. For example, Poles really respect people older than them or even more trivial example – they take off shoes before entering a flat or a house. Many similarities can be seen in a business culture which, like in Japan, is based on relationships and long-term trust. It is perfectly illustrated by the Model of National Culture developed by Geert Hofstede, in which Poland and Japan score very similarly in many categories. The best example of this is an aversion to risk-taking and avoiding business uncertainty, where Poland received 93 and Japan 92 out of 100 points, which is respectively the second and third place in the world in this category.
Software development quality that speaks volumes
The most important element of software development outsourcing is the quality of the outsourcing teams. After all, their skills and knowledge are what you pay for. And choosing Poland is a proven way to get peace of mind that you will cooperate with skilled specialists. According to a HackerRank ranking of the best software developers, Poland came in third, behind only China and Russia, and ahead of countries like the USA and Japan. Poles are masters of Java (1st place in the ranking), Python (2nd place), and algorithmics (2nd place). To international clients, Polish programmers are associated with reliability and tenacity. Regardless of the needs and challenges posed by their clients, they are always committed to doing their best to overcome challenges and achieve the set goals.
One of the main motivations for outsourcing software development is the desire to reduce costs while maintaining high quality, which is why Poland is a great choice for many companies. Even though Poland has some of the best developers in the world, building teams in Poland is much more cost-effective than in Japan or Germany due to lower costs of living, which leads to higher ROIs. Confirming this is the fact that Japanese companies that already have opened quite large offices in Poland, for example, Sony with Playstation, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Canon, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, Yamaha, and many, many others.
Poland is full of technically skilled people
At a time when a shortage of developers is causing problems for companies all over the world, it’s not a coincidence that in order to effectively deliver top-quality IT solutions businesses need constant access to talented and well-educated employees. Thus, each IT outsourcing center is only as good as its ability to attract young and ambitious people who want to grow in the technology industry.
In Poland, in the 2020/2021 academic year, there will be around 1.2 million students, including more than 188,000 in IT and new technology-related courses. Potential engineers can choose from over 340 universities, including 23 technical universities (including the University of Warsaw and the Jagiellonian University, which are listed on the famous Shanghai list). What’s more, the high level of Polish universities attracts many young students from Ukraine and Belarus (in 2020 we had over 38 thousand students from Ukraine and 8 thousand from Belarus).
In Warsaw, there is also the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology (PJAIT), which was co-founded by the governments of Poland and Japan in 1994. It is one of the best private universities in Poland and its most important field of study is computer science. In addition, all students can study the Japanese language as a part of their tuition fee, and one of the compulsory subjects for almost all majors is Japanese culture, which prepares its graduates to cooperate with Japanese companies.
Poles have an excellent command of large and complex organizations
Thanks to a relatively large population (5th largest population in the EU), there are many large organizations with both Polish and foreign capital in Poland. Thanks to this, Polish companies providing IT services are no strangers to working in complex business and technical environments. This experience greatly facilitates cooperation on projects with new foreign customers, as Polish specialists can seamlessly fit into complex organizational cultures and diverse system architectures.
Stability and ease of cooperation brought by the European Union
Poland’s presence in the European Union guarantees a high degree of political and legislative stability, which makes doing business in Poland safe and predictable. Moreover, thanks to the shared regulations between EU countries and access to the common market, Polish companies can easily support themselves with employees and technologies from all over the EU.
What’s more, in February 2019, a trade agreement between the European Union and Japan also came into force, thanks to which many barriers to doing business together were removed, facilitating cooperation between Japan and all EU member states.
Experience in a multicultural environment
Proper understanding of cultural differences and the ability to work in a multinational environment is one of the key success factors when building offshore teams. These differences are often the cause of conflicts and misunderstandings in an international company, which negatively affects the productivity of employees and the atmosphere. Therefore, the ability to manage work in an international environment and to create teams whose members come from different countries and cultural backgrounds is critical for successful cooperation.
The culture in Japan is very different from what Europeans are used to. For example, unlike Europeans, Japanese people rarely directly say things that can be unpleasant to the interlocutor, even if it is true (tatemae). Another significant difference is that proposals or changes affecting the group or company are dealt with in groups, so the potential business partner must be patient. Understanding these fundamental differences is required to maintain a strong business relationship with Japanese partners. Fortunately, both of these differences, along with many others, are understood and respected by Poles, which allows us to strengthen economic relations with the Land of the Rising Sun.
Many Polish IT companies are actively cooperating with clients from other countries, some, like ours, are even solely focused on such cooperation, thanks to which software developers understand what cultural differences are and work every day with respect for the culture of their co-workers. What’s more due to the excellent knowledge of English, which is widely used around the world especially in the IT sector, the language barrier practically does not exist.
Highest security standards
In the EU, we have one of the most restrictive data protection laws in the world, the GDPR. In recent years, the Japanese government has been altering its Protection of Personal Information (APPI) Act echoing the EU regulations. This allowed the European Union to recognize Japan’s data protection laws as ones offering an adequate level of data protection. This show that cooperation between EU members like Poland and Japan is safe as houses, and even companies that operate on extremely sensitive data can benefit from outsourcing their software development to polish software development agency.
Poland has maintained diplomatic relations with Japan for many years
Poland already has over 100 years of fruitful diplomatic cooperation with Japan, which was established in 1919, a year after the end of World War I. Such long cooperation between Poland and Japan has led Poles to respect Japanese people for their complex and interesting culture. The proof can be seen in the multitude of fans of Japanese culture in Poland, the numerous cultural centers promoting Japanese culture, such as the Manggha Museum in Krakow or PJAIT in Warsaw, or even the fact that in several places in Warsaw you can find sakuras.
Poland is an international IT hub
Poland is located in the heart of Europe, which enables cooperation and implementation of IT projects with any part of the world. There are no problems in communication with Far East Asia as the time difference is only +8 hours. Similarly, cooperation with countries of the Americas is not a problem either, as the time difference in this direction is -8 hours. Combining time zone compatibility with previously mentioned elements like quality, cost-effectiveness, and so on, makes it no surprise that both international technology corporations such as Samsung or Nokia and Silicon Valley unicorns have located their technology hubs in Poland. If you are interested in what such cooperation looks like in real life, take a look at our case studies.
Considering all the described elements, we can positively say that Poland is one of the best IT outsourcing destinations in the world. A large base of talented programmers, great value for money, flexibility and cultural familiarity mean Poles are able to take on any task and bring it to completion efficiently. Additionally, a strong interest in the Land of the Cherry Blossom encourages Poles to delve into Japanese culture and enables flawless cooperation with Japanese people.
If you want to entrust us with the task of upgrading your IT infrastructure or applications, just contact us through the form at the bottom of the page and tell us how we can help.
About the authorKonrad Gabryś
A Software Engineer with a great passion for East Asian cultures and languages, Konrad majored in Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw and in Computer Science at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology. His deep knowledge of software engineering and East Asian cultures is of great value for Software Mind in understanding East Asia’s culture and IT market. Konrad is enthusiastic about databases, Big Data and software engineering – he is constantly developing his skills in these areas and is always eager to share his knowledge with colleagues.