Hungarian economy needs IT professionals

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Even if the current economic environment does not favor growth, Hungarian software development companies are keeping afloat as more enterprises realize that IT solutions could help to improve efficiency and everyday operations.

Even if the majority of Hungarian enterprises feel that the economic outlook is deteriorating, software development companies seem to have found ways to survive. “The number of new orders and the turnover is on same level as in recent years, IFS Hungary managing director Zsolt Weiszbart told BBJThe domestic situation is not in favor of economic growth, but our premium clientele could develop and invest in the midst of market challenges, and orders from these companies can offset the negative effects of the market.”

Balázs Ablonczy, managing director of SAP Hungary, has also reported positive numbers: “Domestic revenue has increased in line with the parent company’s results and reached HUF 17 billion last year. Modern IT tools help the implementation of corporate strategy, improvement of operational efficiency and more companies are deciding to implement these solutions,” he pointed out.

On the downside, however, the construction market has collapsed in the last few years like a deflating balloon and its spillover effects have reached the IT sector as well. “Our business serves as ‘the intellectual center for the construction business,’ said Terc managing director Miklós Konrád Molnár. But even if our company is the biggest among those who carry out such solutions in the country, the impact of the recession hit our results hard. The company’s turnover has fallen by one-third in the last three years, meaning a significant decline in the number of orders as well.” 

Clouds, clouds

Of course, it’s 2013, so everything is about online solutions, mobility and clouds just as in recent years, regardless of market or business size. “Besides offline software sales, we refocused much effort on online solutions, developing and marketing software that can be used directly via Internet," Molnár said. “Changes in consumer demand forced us to move in this direction to ensure the preservation of our software developer business in the long run.”

IFS also feels that mobile applications are crucial on the market. “Easy operability and mobility is increasingly important to our customers. IT solutions must not just be able to support the company’s business processes efficiently, but must have a user friendly interface and mobile device support as well,” Weiszbart said.

Aspiring youth

Hungarian policy-makers like to emphasize the high quality of Hungarian technical and IT-education. Our respondents rated the overall quality of the Hungarian higher education as good, but highlighted some concerns as well. “The supply of personnel with an academic background is adequate, in fact there is an over-education. But they must acquire professional practical knowledge on their first job during the first few years of working. And at which company a young IT professional starts his career determines to a large extent his future carrier,” Weiszbart warned. 

From another point of view, more workers would be welcome in the sector: Weiszbart added that “Hungarian IT experts can easily stand the competition at an international level as well, it’s just a matter of the quality of the education, opportunities within the company and personal creativity. I think more IT experts are needed on the domestic market, as an engine that ensures development. According to surveys, every forint spent on the IT sector serves as two in other industries. Moreover, EU surveys show that hundreds of thousands of ICT professionals will be missing from the continent’s labor market by 2015.”

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