Lviv Tech Market: Growth Against All Odds

January 25, 2021

In 2019, the Lviv IT industry’s overall economic effect exceeded $1 billion, with IT companies’ growth rate reaching a staggering 45%. Find out whether the Lviv IT industry has maintained its growth rate and how tech companies have been doing during the pandemic.

For five years in a row, Lviv IT Cluster has been conducting an independent analytical study of the Lviv IT industry with the most up-to-date information on the industry development dynamics, its economic effect, and a portrait of an IT specialist in Lviv. This year, in addition to the economic indicators mentioned above, IT Research 5.0 analyzed the impact of the pandemic-induced crisis on the Lviv IT sector. The study was conducted based on a survey of IT specialists and companies concerning the pandemic’s impact on their activities and expenses, expert interviews with top managers of Lviv IT companies, and statistical data.

Despite the pandemic, the number of companies in Lviv increased by 7%. There are 492 IT companies now, whereas, in 2019, the number equaled 461. Despite the unfavorable situation due to the pandemic-induced crisis, the number of IT specialists has been growing – 26-26.5 k, compared to 24-25 k last year.
The first cases of COVID-19 were recorded a year ago. Businesses started to feel the effects of the COVID-19 crisis later; however, the pandemic caused irreparable damage to some industries, making them look for new ways of working. Although the IT industry is one of the most flexible areas that rely on innovation, tech companies also felt the COVID-19 crisis, mainly due to their clients being in financial difficulties and suspending financial transactions. According to IT Research 5.0, 78% of companies had faced payment delays for IT services/products, and a third had difficulties finding new clients in the first half of 2020.

Work mode during lockdown

Among the companies that took part in the survey, 100 % shifted to remote work mode in the first half of 2020, out of which 22% – partly and 78% – fully. As of November 2020, in 78% of companies, a part of employees returned to office; on average, a third of the companies’ employees are working fully or partly from office.

44% of companies reduced their employees’ salaries in the first half of 2020, and almost 40% sent their employees on unpaid leave. 17% cut a part of the technical staff, and 39% reduced the number of non-technical employees in the first half of 2020.

Portrait of IT specialist

The median age of IT specialists in Lviv in 2020 is 29
; last year, the number equaled 28. The share of Junior specialists is 24%, Middle – 38% and Senior – 38% correspondingly. Most IT specialists are men (68%), whereas the share of women in tech in 2020 was 32%. 57% of respondents were involved in charity initiatives.

Economic performance and taxes

IT industry share in the GRP of Lviv has not changed compared to 2019 and equals 20%. The industry’s turnover exceeded the last year’s number, ranging from $ 816 to $ 832 million (in comparison, in 2019 the industry’s turnover ranged from $658 to $718 million).

The total economic effect of the IT sector in Lviv in 2019 amounted to $1.255 billion
 (in contrast, in 2018 it was $1.051 billion), out of which the direct economic effect reached $788 million, indirect (the effect of IT on related sectors of the economy) – $507 million.

The total Lviv industry tax revenue in 2019 amounted to UAH 1,567,416 million, exceeding the 2018’s number – UAH 1,329,191 million. 53.6% went to the local and 46.4% to the state budget. The total industry tax revenue increased by 16.6%, with the dominant share going to the local budget (due to the growth of single tax and personal tax, 75% of which remains in the local budget of Lviv).

2020 has been a challenge for businesses, making companies shift to new modes of work. Our annual survey revealed that, despite the pandemic, the IT industry had shown great flexibility and speed in adapting to change and had not lost its strong position. The number of IT companies in Lviv has not decreased; there are 492 IT companies, whereas, in 2019, there were 461 of them. The number of IT specialists also continues to grow,” shared Stepan Veselovskyi, CEO at Lviv IT Cluster.

Learn more about the IT industry’s labor market and its changes, the 2020’s evaluation by IT companies’ top management, detailed information on companies’ performance during the pandemic, the impact of the pandemic on companies’ financial performance, and staff reduction in IT Research 5.0. Download the study here.

IT Research 5.0 was conducted by the Custom Research Agency Fama on behalf of the Lviv IT Cluster.