Diverse opinions on the future of the IT sector in Croatia

Diverse opinions on the future of the IT sector in Croatia

 

By Marija Avramovic – Zagreb

At this year’s biggest international trade fair for information technologies in the region of Eurasia, CeBIT Bilişim Eurasia, the most represented foreign exhibitor was Croatia with 29 companies.

From September 11-14, croatian ICT companies presented in Instanbul about 60 products or services in the field of ICT technologies, mobile applications and softwares for the improvement of business activities, mostly aimed to enhance the effectiveness of state and public services and large companies.

This was the biggest joint appearance at such a computer expo in the history of the croatian ICT industry and one of the largest in the last twenty years.

It was organized with the help ofCroatian chamber of Commerce (HGK), Croatian employers’ association (HUP) and the Ministry of Economy.

In the last five years of the crisis, information and communication technologies particularly software development and computer services increased its export by 78%, while employment in computer programming increased by 20%, so it is not unusual that these indicators were the impetus for organizing a joint participation of croatian ICT companies in Turkey as one of the very interesting markets in the ICT industry.

The largest foreign booth among as many as 700 exhibitors at CeBIT was the croatian one with the financial help from the ministry and HGK, which also made an impact on the hosts of CeBIT.

It’s still not clear how much ICT companies has actually benefited in Istanbul this year, but Tomislav Bronzin from HGK said that all entrepreneurs had prearranged meetings, which would hopefully bring those partnerships that Croatia needs to develop operations in Turkey and north Africa and the Middle East.

While the ICT companies were trying to make a breakthrough on a market which is worth 160 billion dollars, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic announced he was leaving at the end of September in the United States to offer IT  “giants” good conditions for building a server farm in the mountainous parts of Croatia.

Part of local IT professionals think that the job of Prime Minister is not offering jobs by himself, but to help create a climate that would encourage investments even though bringing one of the giants of the IT sector usually demands an active participation from the government.

Server farms require three things: cold weather conditions, good connections through optical fibers and a great deal of energy and it seems that, at this point, the biggest problem seems to be energy since Croatia does not have a big, spectacular production of electricity while the server farm commonly consumes the equivalent of a settlement of 30-40 thousand people.

If a project like this came to Croatia it would revive the construction industry, because the construction of these buildings rarely goes below 100 million euro.

On the other hand, IT professionals would not benefit much from such an investment because, compared to the level of investment, the farm does not need a lot of skilled IT professionals, but rather more important are professionals and workers on safety and electric sector.