Global Opportunities

ICT Industry in Serbia: innovation instead of compilation

Driven by both the Serbian government and various initiatives from non-profit organizations and international investors, the Serbian ICT market reached new heights in 2017 – state and private business have joined forces to direct the ICT market towards innovation rather than just compiling the experiences of other countries. Together with the dual education law (inaugurated by Swiss government experts), a new office for ICT, e-government and clear prioritization of the ICT sector in view of global developments, Serbia has made a strong ICT statement, which is quite appealing to many incoming investors.

There are around 35,000 ICT professionals in Serbia today
There are around 35,000 ICT professionals in Serbia today (symbolic picture)

ICT landscape in Serbia: Overall statistics

Serbian ICT consumer potential has grown rapidly:

  • Nearly 70% of all Serbian households have at least one PC
  • Almost 100% of all PC consumers have Internet access as well
  • More than 60% of all Internet connections are broadband connections
  • More than 87% of all users are using their ICT resources daily/almost daily
  • More than 83% of all users are accessing the Internet daily/almost daily
  • About 45% of all Internet users have shopped online

According to LinkedIn research and the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, there are around 35,000 ICT professionals in Serbia today. This figure has increased steadily despite the huge number of Serbian’s moving away to work in the EU and North America.

If we split the numbers into sub-specializations, according to the leading ICT portal in Serbia, STARTIT, there are:

  • 11,500 developers (around 9,000 Java professionals together with sub-specializations in PHP for instance)
  • At least 15,000 network and Internet engineers
  • The rest consists of web marketing professionals, designers, managers etc.

Office for IT and e-government

On July 27, 2017, the Serbian government passed a decree on the establishment of the Office for Information Technology and Electronic Governance. The task of this Office will be to consolidate state IT resources, ensure connectivity of various information systems, provide strong support and establish the basis for the development of Serbia's e-governance. Digitization of the state administration and providing services that can be used easily and quickly by citizens are among the government’s highest priorities.

Digital Serbia Initiative 

At the end of May 2017, the Digital Serbia Initiative was launched by the Swiss media house Ringier Axel Springer Serbia and several leading technology companies. The initiative follows the success of “digital Switzerland”. Digital Serbia focuses on improving the framework and ecosystem required to enable tech entrepreneurship and digital innovation in both industry and education in Serbia.

Science Technology Park Belgrade

The Science and Technology Park (STP) Belgrade is co-financed by SECO and was opened mid-2015 by the Swiss Minister of Economy Johann Schneider-Ammann. Today over 400 people work there and it hosts 57 high-tech companies, including Swiss IT companies: InterVenture, MDPI, Phytonet. This is the first institution of this type in Serbia and has become a key player in the innovation ecosystem. An agreement to extend Swiss support for this institution was recently signed.

Swiss success stories from Serbia

Sky Express d.o.o.: Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated, complex and intuitive, which means having a deep understanding of how to protect sensitive information is a necessity. At the same time, corporates are generating huge amounts of sensitive data. This data is not only being passively stored and actively protected, but it is also used in business communication around the globe and thus exposed to further attacks and misuse. The expert team of highly dedicated security specialists, supported by strategic emerging technology partners, offers the local ICT market the best aspects of “swissness”, such as quality, reliability and constant innovations: from vulnerability scanning and penetration testing, to spotting and assessing security weakness, as well as security consulting, HR security training and planning.

Sky Express: 100% owned by a Swiss parent company and a very prominent leader when it comes to ICT security software distribution and services in the region, Sky Express has finished another successful year, winning some of its biggest accounts in regional markets like EPS (Electric Power Industry of Serbia), which is the biggest company in the Balkan region, with more than 35,000 employees. It also renewed contracts with the Serbian Government and Ministries, protecting their digital data with secure web applications produced by the world leader, the Swiss company OPEN SYSTEMS from Zurich.

InterVenture: A Swiss IT nearshoring company established in Zurich in 2010, which specializes in the establishment of client-own and specific software development teams in Serbia. Marko Đurić, CEO InterVenture says: “Belgrade is shaping up to become the tech hub of Southeast Europe due to the large local talent pool. There are already many conferences on various ICT topics that allow one to share experience and knowledge.”

Namics: The leading Swiss software engineering company has attracted a large number of highly qualified engineers in Serbia. Namics is a full-service agency, which provides services in a wide range of industries – banking, telecommunications, automotive industry and medicine. According to their representative, expectations were fulfilled: “After opening the Belgrade office we set several goals: hire and develop 50 engineers in the first three years, become a real local staple in the IT community, and ultimately be more competitive in the market in Switzerland and Germany. We can confirm that already, after just two years, our goals are almost completely fulfilled.”

Zühlke Engeneering is another Swiss company with an office in Belgrade. Zühlke Serbia is an attractive employer that offers challenging career opportunities for skilled, highly motivated software engineers. Within the Zühlke Group, Zühlke Serbia positions itself as a center of expertise for distributed, agile software development.

How you can benefit from these opportunities

If you would like to further evaluate the opportunities related to the Serbian ICT market without any further obligations, please get in touch with our S-GE Senior Consultant Katalin Dreher-Hajnal. Contact now