The Polish Information Technology Market (in $ Millions)
Source: BMI Research
|2020||2021 (estimate)||2022 (forecast)||2023 (forecast)|
|Total IT Market Value||23,338||27,824||26,512||30,083|
Exchange rates: 2020 $1=3.95 pln; 2021 $1=3.87 pln; 2022 $1 = 4.59 (H1 estimate)
According to BMI Research, in 2021 total information technology (IT) expenditures in Poland grew by 16.8% in local currency, reaching a value of $22.3 billion. Due to substantial fluctuation in the Polish currency, the values calculated in USD differ from those in the Polish currency. COVID-19 had a negative impact on the overall sector’s performance as many projects were postponed and companies reduced their investment plans. At the same time, the pandemic boosted the sales of notebooks and tablets as well as software and services enabling remote working, such as collaboration software tools, virtualization, cybersecurity, and remote asset management. Lockdowns also caused an unprecedented increase in interest in gaming, streaming services, and e-commerce. As a result of harsh competition, e-commerce providers focused on enhancing their offers and introducing tools, often using artificial intelligence, which allow them to retain current and attract new customers.
Despite supply chain turbulence resulting from COVID-19 and deepened after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine as well as early signs of economic slowdown combined with high inflation, the forecast for the entire sector remains positive, although it varies greatly depending on the market segment. The hardware segment is expected to cool, as it becomes modestly saturated. Cloud services are growing seven times faster than the overall IT market and are already used by 24% of all companies and 70% of large organizations with more than 250 employees, mainly in retail, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), transportation and logistics sectors. With 19% growth, the cloud segment reached a value of $436 million in 2020 and $579 million in 2021. Last year Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and several other international and local market players made major investments in local data centers in Poland. Thus, by 2026 Poland might become one of leading colocation data center hubs in Central and Eastern Europe.
It is difficult to evaluate the total value of U.S. exports of IT products, software, and services to Poland. Poland is ranked low as the destination country for certain Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HS) categories, such as HS 8471 automatic data processing machines and electronic integrated circuit and micro assembly related product categories. However, these statistics do not reflect the actual value of all U.S. exports to Poland, as many exporters first ship their products to regional hubs and then distribute them to other European countries. Despite the numbers, U.S. technologies and products are highly valued and well received in Poland. There is a strong demand for U.S. products and services across all segments.
U.S. suppliers of IT services interested in entering the Polish market should consider working with Polish partners, as Polish project sponsors usually mandate that support be available locally and in the Polish language.
At the end of 2021, the IT market comprised an estimated 4.1% of Poland’s GDP and is expected to reach 4.5% in 2025. Government expenditures for IT are estimated at only 2.2% of Poland’s GDP but they continue to be greatly supplemented by EU funding, which can account for up to 85% of a project’s actual value. Poland’s National Recovery Plan, approved by the EU in June 2022, anticipates $3.4 billion for digital development projects, although proceeds from this program are under the EU scrutiny and may be delayed. IT projects could also benefit from regional development funds and other EU programs.
Market development is driven by the digitization strategies of the public and business sectors and the need to invest in labor-saving or productivity maximizing solutions. Services are driving sales growth, including cloud computing services, software-as-a-service, and infrastructure and platform services, which are the key trends in the enterprise market. Trends such as technological integration, streamlined access to services, cloud computing, IT security, and the internet of things (IoT) reflect major market opportunities for U.S. suppliers.
According to the 2021 DESI (Digital Economy and Society Index), Poland is still below the EU average in all categories and currently ranked as 24 out of 27 EU countries, while performing better in connectivity (21st position) and digital public services (22nd position). With the open data policy, Poland excels in the open data category, with 90% maturity score compared to 78% EU average. The low DESI ranking is mainly due to the insufficient integration of digital technologies in companies. Even though 51% of companies recognize the importance of digital transformation in their organizations, the majority do not plan to increase investments in this area in the coming months.
The public sector’s digital technology policy and Poland’s IT development plans are the responsibility of the office of Digital Affairs–Chancellery of the Prime Minister, which is also in charge of cybersecurity as well as 5G development plans. GovTech Poland coordinates the digital development strategy and technology developments for the public sector, although individual ministries or institutions are also responsible for projects in their specialty areas.
The goal of Poland’s Integrated IT Development Program is to create a public information system that provides efficient electronic services and interoperability of existing and new IT public systems and eliminates duplicative functions. The Polish government has opted to divide larger IT efforts into smaller projects that could be implemented gradually or farm them out to contract services. The goal of this policy is to stimulate competition and move away from projects that could only be implemented by the market’s largest players.
The Polish market is highly competitive, with most global and international technology players having a direct presence in the country and many specialized domestic companies. A vast majority (90%) of local IT companies are small and frequently merge or form alliances when working on larger projects.
The value of the telecommunications services market in 2021 reached $10.5 billion and did not change compared to 2020. Interest in fixed telephony declined, but the market of bundled services (such as phones plus Internet) grew by 7.2%. The development of broadband internet accelerated during the pandemic. Currently nearly 68% of Poland’s population has fixed internet access with a minimum of 100 Mb/s bandwidth. More than 94% of young people (15-34 years old) own mobile phones or use the internet, compared to 67.4% of the general population.
Poland has not yet assigned any harmonized radio spectrum for 5G deployment. After cancellation of the first tender for 3.4-3.8 GHz frequencies in mid-2020, 5G deployment was put on hold. The government decided to amend some provisions of the cybersecurity regulations related to 5G development and this legislation is yet to be finalized. Poland’s telecom regulator, the Office of Electronic Communications (Urząd Komunikacji Elektroniczne (UKE)), is expected to open the tenders in autumn 2022, once these regulations are finalized. The government will consider a plan to establish a wholesale operator in the 700 MHz band which could become available in 2022, and to create a Strategic Communications Operator, a state-owned entity that would provide telecommunications services to the public administration. In the meantime, mobile operators have started 5G pilot projects and offer 5G services based on frequencies available to them.
The highest value for software and services solutions is in the ICT industry. The demand is generated by the software development outsourcing industry, R&D activities, data centers expansions, cloud service rollouts and adoption for automation solutions for digital processes. Other principal sectors investing in IT are manufacturing, the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, retail, and logistics, as well as financial and professional services, followed by the public administration projects. Other sub-sectors which are expected to increase their IT investments are the energy, telecommunications, and construction sectors. Future investments are dependent on the availability and accessibility of new technologies, as well as the regulations imposed upon them.
The technologies with greatest growth potential include cloud computing, IoT, and cybersecurity, which are implemented in both the public and the private sectors. Leaders in specialized software include software for vertical markets, internet, and e-commerce solutions, specifically in IT security.
Digital transformation is one of five priorities set in the National Development Plan and will benefit from the EU Recovery Funding. Opportunities in the public sector include investments in e-administration, including integration of e-services with the land and mortgage register system, open government, as
well as training and other activities aimed at increasing the digital literacy of Polish society. The top digital development priorities of Poland’s current government are infrastructure, cybersecurity,
education, and e-health.
The best opportunities in technology include:
- Analytical solutions
- Internet of things
- Digital Affairs – Chancellery of the Prime Minister
- UKE – Urząd Komunikacji Elektroniczne (Office of Electronic Communications)
- GovTech Poland
- Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Digital Economy Department
- PIIT – Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications
- KIGEiT – the National Chamber of Electronics and Telecommunications
- PIKE – Polish Chamber of Electronic Communication
- NCBiR – The National Center for Research and Development
- PFR – Polish Development Fund Group
There are no general, country-wide, IT-specific trade events in Poland. Instead, there are many sector-specific conferences, usually devoted to specific verticals and end-users. Information about these events is available upon request from CS Poland.
Contacts for Marketing and Advertisement
Magazines: IT Reseller and CRN, ElektronikaB2B, Automatka B2B
IDG Publications: ComputerWorld, PC World and yearly report on Polish IT market ComputerWorld Top 200. IDG also organizes technology conferences, e-seminars, and debates, and offers expert market research as well as content and email marketing services.
PMR Research - market research, marketing, and specialized market entry services
For more information about the IT industry sector, please contact:
U.S. Commercial Service Poland
Commercial Specialist: Maria Kowalska