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IT Outsourcing to Eastern Europe in 2024: A Guide for Businesses

Looking for the perfect balance between cost and quality, many businesses choose to outsource software development. One of the most popular choices is outsourcing to Eastern Europe.

Working with IT services companies from Eastern Europe, enterprises and startups can resolve serious issues, from covering a lack of relevant expertise to ensuring the timely delivery of their product.

But how can you choose the right vendor to delegate your project to? In this article, we analyze five of the most popular destinations for outsourcing in Eastern Europe and cover top criteria that will help you find a reliable partner for your next tech project.

Why businesses consider IT outsourcing to Eastern Europe

There are several reasons why large enterprises and IT startups look for a trustworthy IT outsourcing company in Eastern Europe or other regions:

Why outsource software development to Eastern Europe
  • Expand their teams — The demand for high-level technical expertise in North America, Western Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia often exceeds the capacity of local talent pools. This forces IT companies to start looking for suitable candidates in other locations, including Eastern Europe.
  • Find niche expertise — For many countries in Eastern Europe, the quality of available technical education is really high. Thanks to that, service companies in Eastern Europe can provide businesses with rare talents that can deliver non-trivial solutions, like custom kernel drivers or complex cybersecurity platforms.
  • Optimize budgets — Development and quality assurance costs are closely tied to things like taxes and living expenses. To cut costs, businesses often consider outsourcing their software development projects to countries with a better business climate, as it usually results in more reasonable IT service rates. However, when only looking for the lowest price, you risk ending up with a poor-quality, insecure product that will be expensive to fix. This is why it’s important to first evaluate the reliability and professionalism of potential candidates when choosing your outsourcing provider.
  • Speed up the time to market — When deadlines are pressing, enhancing the development team with extra talents can be a suitable solution. With Eastern European outsourcers, it’s relatively easy to find needed expertise quickly.

In addition to all these benefits of outsourcing software development to Eastern Europe, it’s easier for Western companies to establish efficient in-project communication when working with outsourcers from Eastern Europe. A shared culture and values as well as a high level of English proficiency make this region a favorable destination for IT outsourcing.

Top 5 outsourcing destinations in Eastern Europe

According to the Future of IT 2023 report by Emerging Europe, top destinations for IT outsourcing in Eastern Europe include the following countries:

  • Ukraine
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Czechia

When choosing a specific country for IT outsourcing, it’s important to account for several factors:

  • Available talent pool
  • Niche expertise in specific domains and technologies
  • Level of English proficiency
  • Cultural compatibility
  • Service costs

With these factors in mind, let’s see what each of these countries has to offer.

Ukraine

IT outsourcing to Ukraine

For many years, Ukraine has been one of the top destinations for IT outsourcing not only in Eastern Europe but globally. 

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine caused a significant shift in the global outsourcing landscape, leading some businesses to reconsider their partnerships with Ukrainian companies. The IT industry in Ukraine, however, has proved resilient and continues to grow steadily, with an estimated annual growth rate of 11.89% between 2023 and 2028 according to Statista. In fact, many businesses that paused or ended their outsourcing relationships with Ukrainian companies in the early months of the invasion are now returning to Ukraine.

There are several reasons why global businesses work with Ukrainian companies when opting for software development outsourcing in Eastern Europe:

  • High quality of services — While affordable rates may look tempting, not having to pay twice for fixing development errors is what really helps businesses use their budgets wisely. Ukrainian software development companies are known for delivering quality and secure solutions with well-documented and easy-to-maintain code.
  • Rich pool of niche talents — Producing 43% more Information and Communications Technology (ICT) graduates than Poland and 70% more than the UK, Ukraine now has over 240,000 IT professionals according to the State of European Tech 2022 report. Ukrainian R&D companies are often praised for their rare talents in fields like kernel and driver development, reverse engineering, and cybersecurity. Top technologies in Ukraine include JavaScript, C++, C#, Node.js, and Python.
  • High cultural compatibility — Cultural and linguistic barriers between you and your outsourcing vendor can make communication inefficient and lead to misalignment between project requirements and expectations. Most Ukrainian software engineers speak English fluently and share the same values as their Western colleagues.

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Delegate the engineering and quality assurance of your software to Apriorit. We’ll help you deliver quality and secure product within tight deadlines.

Poland

IT outsourcing to Poland

Another commonly evaluated destination for outsourcing software development in Eastern Europe is Poland.

  • Talent pool — According to the Future of IT 2023 report, Poland has over 486,000 IT professionals in various fields. With numerous IT experts having relocated to Poland from Ukraine and annual growth in the number of ICT graduates, the Polish market shows promising potential to be strengthened with even more IT specialists in the future. Technologies popular in Poland include Java, JavaScript, PHP, and Python.
  • Hourly rates — Poland has several IT outsourcing companies whose hourly rates for development services are closer to those in Western Europe and the US. The majority of the market, however, offers relatively affordable rates between $49 and $199 an hour.
  • Quality of work — Polish software developers are often praised for the quality of their services, alongside their Ukrainian peers. In particular, Polish experts top the charts in Java development

Bulgaria

IT outsourcing to Bulgaria

Bulgaria has a rapidly developing IT sector, so businesses also see it as a promising option for outsourcing software development to Eastern Europe. In recent years, the Bulgarian government has adopted a number of legal changes meant to improve the country’s profile as an IT outsourcing destination.

  • Talent pool — With over 100,000 ICP specialists, Bulgaria is investing heavily in the development of their IT sector. Common technologies in Bulgaria include C#, Java, and PHP.
  • Business climate — Currently, Bulgaria offers one of the most affordable tax rates in Europe — only 10% for both local and foreign IT companies. This creates an attractive business environment in terms of affordable labor and corporate rates compared to North America and Western Europe.

Romania

IT outsourcing to Romania

Romania also holds its place on the Eastern Europe software development outsourcing market, drawing the attention of businesses with its:

  • Large talent pool — With a strong focus on STEM subjects at local universities, Romania has over 9,000 ICP graduates every year — a powerful addition to the existing pool of 198,000+ professionals. Common technologies that Romanian specialists are familiar with include Java, PHP, and Python.
  • Language proficiency — Software developers from Romania usually are fluent in English, and the country ranks 15th in the EF English Proficiency Index. In addition, many Romanian IT specialists have a high level of proficiency in other European languages, including German and French.
  • Acceptable rates — Similar to other countries on our list, many IT companies in Romania charge from $50 to $149 an hour. Some even charge $25 to $49 an hour, but such low rates often come at the cost of quality.

Czechia

IT outsourcing to Czechia

Last but not least we have Czechia (formerly known as the Czech Republic), a strong IT outsourcing player in the region:

  • Talent pool — With over 210,000 IT professionals, Czechia has a solid reputation in the global IT market. In particular, the country adds over 3,800 new ICP graduates to the labor force every year according to the Future of IT 2023 report.
  • Reasonable rates — With average rates ranging from $50 to $99 per hour, Czechia is closer to the high end for software development in Eastern Europe. Still, outsourcing to Czechia might be more affordable than hiring senior in-house specialists in Western Europe or the US.
  • Cultural compatibility — With wide adoption of English, Czechia ranks 26th among 113 countries evaluated in the EF English Proficiency Index. Establishing efficient communication within a project will be an easy task with a Czech team.

These are just brief characteristics of some of the leading IT outsourcing destinations in the region. When choosing a trustworthy partner, especially for a long-term project, geography isn’t the only factor to consider.

In the next section, we discuss five core criteria that will help you determine which IT outsourcing company to delegate your project to.

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How to choose the right outsourcing company

Finding the right outsourcing partner can be challenging. You should evaluate various factors and choose a partner who can help you achieve your business needs and goals.

Let’s look closer at core criteria for determining which outsourcing company to delegate your project to.

How to choose IT outsourcing partner

1. Full scope of engineering services

To build a custom solution that is secure, performant, and competitive, look for a software engineering company that can help you with any task, from market research and requirements elicitation to architecture design and security testing. This way, you can get any expertise your project needs in one place, without wasting resources.

With strong and diverse in-house expertise, outsourcing companies can help you quickly establish a fitting team or close the existing talent gap in your in-house team and thus speed up product delivery. And compared to smaller companies with limited services, large outsourcing companies usually have experience working on complex, non-trivial projects.

How Apriorit meets this criterion:

Working with Apriorit, you can form a dedicated team including any experts your project might need, from business analysts and project managers to kernel developers and reverse engineers.

2. High quality of services

Building a competitive product is impossible without competent developers, designers, and quality assurance specialists. Thus, you need to evaluate your potential outsourcing partners on two levels:

  • Technical competency — Your outsourcing partner has to be familiar with all relevant technologies and have internal coding standards aimed at delivering high-quality code free of critical bugs and errors.
  • Business-oriented approach — Your business goals should be the focus of your outsourcer. They need to understand your objectives and account for them when building your product.

Only when your outsourcer meets your requirements on both levels can you create quality and competitive products.

How Apriorit meets this criterion: 

To guarantee the high quality of our code, Apriorit developers rely on internal coding standards and code review practices. We have an internal QA department, enabling you to enhance your dedicated team with strong testing and quality control expertise. Finally, Apriorit has a team of business analysts who can assist you with researching the market and aligning your vision with the reality of your business niche.

However, the best proof of the quality of delivered services is our clients’ feedback. Go to Clutch to learn more about other businesses’ experience working with us.

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3. Transparent budget and workflows

Long-term partnership is impossible without transparency and mutual trust. As the project owner, you need to have a clear understanding with your outsourcing partner of both project costs and deadlines.

You can ask potential outsourcing partners for a detailed breakdown of their costs, from hourly rates and extra fees to third-party software licenses. Another important aspect to pay attention to is your partner’s approach to introducing changes to the approved scope of work and budget.

How Apriorit meets this criterion:

With three comfortable pricing models to choose from, Apriorit always provides you with a clear understanding of the costs, deadlines, and expected outcomes of our cooperation. Our transparent and efficient workflows help you maintain a comfortable level of involvement in the project and set realistic expectations for your project’s timeline and budget.

4. Robust data security and confidentiality

To mitigate possible cybersecurity risks for your business, pay special attention to the following three levels of data security when choosing an outsourcing provider:

  • Security and confidentiality of your business data — Make sure that outsourcing company experts engaged in your project will maintain the security and integrity of your sensitive data. Common ways to do this include signing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and limiting outsourcers’ access to critical information.
  • Security and resilience of the developed product — Opt for companies with strong coding and security standards. Also, evaluate an outsourcer’s experience building software products compliant with relevant IT security requirements.
  • Security of your intellectual property — Sign service-level agreements (SLAs) with your outsourcer, clarifying ownership of intellectual property rights and mechanisms for transferring rights to all developed products and code.

How Apriorit meets this criterion:

With over 20 years of experience, Apriorit knows how to ensure ultimate security for both the business relationships we build and the software solutions we develop. 

On the business side, we use NDAs and SLAs, along with other measures necessary to build a strong, trust-based partnership. On the technical side, we determine and use the most efficient technologies and approaches, from data encryption to code obfuscation, to deliver a secure and reliable product.

5. Efficient communication and project management

To have the end product fully match your expectations, it’s vital to establish efficient, business-focused communication within your project. This is where you may need the assistance of an experienced project manager (PM).

Having a seasoned PM on your team is essential, as it can help you:

  • Establish a collaborative environment where both your in-house experts and outsourcing professionals can work together as one team
  • Save your managerial resources on setting up project processes and workflows
  • Align your project vision, business goals, and technical tasks across all stakeholders and development teams
  • Detect possible issues with the project’s progress and address them early on

Mature outsourcing companies can provide you with a dedicated project manager (PM) to assist you with orchestrating the work and improving the performance of your development team.

How Apriorit meets this criterion:

Working together towards a shared goal is something Apriorit experts have in common. We have a team of professional project managers — many of whom are Project Management Professional-certified — to help you orchestrate your project. In particular, you will get regular updates on the progress of your project and timely reports to help you make informed business decisions.

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Why outsource your R&D project to Apriorit?

Apriorit is a boutique software engineering company that helps businesses deliver quality, secure, and competitive solutions. Working with us gives you access to invaluable benefits:

  • Fast scaling of your team — Having a rich, well-skilled in-house team, we provide over 18 IT services for tech companies operating in various regions and industries. We can help you quickly scale your dedicated team with the required skills and expertise so that you don’t have to waste time searching for a relevant specialist on the market.
  • Deep focus on cybersecurity — Being true masters of cybersecurity, we can assist you with auditing and enhancing an existing product or implementing a secure-by-design approach when building your own custom software — all to help your business stand strong against rising cybersecurity threats and keep your valuable and sensitive data well-secured.
  • Business-oriented approach — Aiming for the best outcomes for your business, Apriorit specialists can suggest several project implementation options for you to choose from. Employing the latest technological advances and new tools, we strive to create a pleasant experience for your customers while helping your business save time and money on delivering new products.
  • Suitable cooperation models — You can always adjust the terms of cooperation with our company to fit your project’s current stage and goals. For small projects and new partnerships, we often suggest trying out our Fixed Price model, which gives you clear deadlines and a set budget for the project before it even starts. For long-term partnerships, a more suitable option would be the Dedicated Team approach. In this case, you’ll get a full-time team of experts who will work as an integral part of your project.
  • Ultimate quality — To help our clients deliver competitive solutions that stand out on the market, Apriorit has a dedicated department of quality assurance (QA) professionals who can assist you with auditing, testing, and improving your software. You can trust Apriorit with anything, from implementing the shift-left testing approach when building a custom product to pentesting your ready solution.

With a people-oriented culture and strong values at the heart of our company, we attract the best professionals in the field and help young talents grow. This helps us deliver quality and timely results to our clients, even during the most turbulent times.

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Conclusion

Businesses outsource software engineering and quality assurance tasks to third-party vendors in order to gain niche expertise, optimize project expenses, improve product quality, and speed up delivery. Top-level outsourcing companies also have experienced project managers and business analysts who can bring extra value to your project.

There are many IT outsourcing destinations in Eastern Europe that you can consider. However, when choosing an outsourcing provider, especially for a long-term project, it’s important to account for such things as a service provider’s scope of delivered services, internal coding and security standards, and established communication approaches.

Working with Apriorit, you will be able to build a strong project team that can successfully deliver solutions of any complexity.

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