What are the main challenges of the ICT industry?
- The ICT industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy in Poland.
- According to forecasts, the Polish ICT market will reach PLN 43.5 billion in 2023.
- ICT workers must constantly acquire new skills and update their knowledge in order to remain competitive.
- Influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, place of residence is no longer a constraint when looking for an employer, resulting in a significant shortage of suitably qualified ICT sector personnel in Poland.
- The emergence of new technologies using AI, opens up many opportunities that can facilitate work, but it is not excluded that it will cause disruption in the ICT market.
- The steady increase in demand for innovative technologies and services, should be a sign for ICT companies to improve their energy efficiency and move toward climate neutrality.
- These days, it is especially important for ICT consumers to feel secure.
- The enactment of the Law on the Law on Electronic Communications (PKE), will involve the introduction of new regulations to which companies, entrepreneurs, investors, providers of electronic communications services and recipients of said services would have to comply.
ICT market and its development in Poland
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), is an industry of the economy comprising businesses that base their activities on the production of goods and services that allow information to be electronically recorded, processed, transmitted reproduced or displayed.
The ICT industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy in Poland. According to forecasts, the Polish ICT market will reach PLN 43.5 billion in 2023. The ever-increasing relevance of the sector is linked to the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterized by the drive to combine material and digital resources to create cyber-physical systems.
Chart 2. Value of the Polish ICT market in 2020-2023 (PLN billion)
Source: "ICT market in Poland", PMR, 2022, mypmr.pro
According to last year's Computerworld "TOP200" list, the tycoons of the Polish ICT industry are: AB SA, Also Polska, Samsung Electronics Polska and Xiaomi Poland. Thanks to the use of computer algorithms, intelligent and autonomous systems can monitor and control various types of machines, vehicles or robots.
Constant need to improve competencies to remain competitive
With rapid advances in technology and the constant emergence of new Industry 4.0 tools, ICT workers must constantly learn new skills and update their knowledge in order to remain competitive. This is due to the fact that companies are looking for employees with skills and qualifications that match current demand.
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Thinking about the IT job market, one can see a correspondence with the content of the Red Queen's paradox, which is known in biology, business and many other fields. In Lewis Carroll's novel, the character of the Red Queen advises the main character: "[...] one must run as fast as one can to stay in the same place. If you want to be in another place, you have to run at least twice as fast!".
Similarly, IT professionals, need to constantly upgrade their competencies to stay abreast of technology. Wanting to be characterized by innovation, looking for new solutions, employees as well as entire companies must take risks in order to stand out from the competition of the IT market.
Shortage of qualified personnel
With the rapid growth of the industry, comes a high demand for specialists. Under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the work culture has changed. Many people employed in the IT sector have switched to working remotely and wish to continue in this mode. As a result, it has become possible to develop careers in global companies, as where you live is no longer a constraint when looking for an employer.
Thus, many specialists who worked in the Polish market moved to foreign companies, thanks to the prospect of more attractive salaries and better working conditions.
This has resulted in a significant shortage of suitably qualified ICT sector personnel. If you want to keep experienced employees in Poland, you need to be prepared for the conditions they may impose: remote work, 4-day work week, training budget, stock options, mental health support or pet health care.
The emergence of new tools using innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), raises many questions about what the future of the IT industry will look like. Exactly what impact the new technologies will have on the industry is unknown. They open up a number of opportunities that can make work easier, but it is not impossible that they will cause disruption in the ICT market.
In January this year, ChatGPT was made available to the public for the first time. This opened up possibilities that were previously not available to the public. Artificial intelligence is able to generate completely new content, for example, articles that were previously created by humans. This suggests that the labor market's demand for certain specialists may decrease, and many industries may undergo major changes that are hard to predict at this stage.
Improving energy efficiency
Modern digital technologies are often associated with positive environmental consequences. The increasingly widespread use of transmitting information electronically is reducing the use of paper, among other things, in many businesses, offices, and homes.
The steady increase in demand for innovative technologies and services, should be a sign for ICT companies to improve their energy efficiency and move toward climate neutrality. One can strive for change by increasing the use of renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, Poland is still lagging behind other European Union member states in this regard.
Ensuring data security
These days, it is especially important for consumers to feel secure. Especially in the ICT sector, which relies on electronic recording, processing, transmission, playback or display of information that may be private and confidential.
It is becoming a priority to ensure the security of both business processes and those related to remote work and customer service, as well as the cyber security of the organizations themselves. Using solutions based on new technologies, relies heavily on the development of the aforementioned areas.
Poland's ICT sector is still awaiting domestic implementation of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (ECE). The enactment of the Law on Electronic Communications (PKE), will entail the introduction of new regulations to which companies, entrepreneurs, investors, providers of electronic communications services and recipients of said services would have to adapt.
The EK£E Directive not only replaces and repeals existing legislation, but also introduces a number of new goals and objectives. Among them are:
- Strengthening consumer regulations in order to make it simpler across the EU to switch service providers and provide better protection.
- Telecommunications services include services provided over the Internet, which do not require the use of phone numbers, such as instant messaging and email applications.
- Affordable and adequate broadband access must be offered to all consumers, regardless of where they are and the income they earn.
- People with disabilities are to have equivalent access to telecommunications services.
- EU countries will establish public warning system allowing citizens to be sent alerts on their cell phones in the event of a natural disaster or other state of emergency in their area.
- EU countries provide operators with regulatory predictability for radio spectrum licenses for wireless broadband communications.
- New frequency bands for 5G connectivity will help provide faster Internet connections and better connectivity.
- Increasing competition regulations for operators' access to networks make it easier for companies to make investments in new infrastructure components with very high capacity (download speeds of 100 MB/s or more), including in remote areas, while ensuring effective market regulation.
- New tools will help solve problems that may occur in specific market conditions.
ICT industry can effectively adapt to change
Demand for products and services from the ICT sector continues to grow. Awareness of the need for IT tools is growing every day among many, even previously undigital industries. There is a growing perception that failure to implement innovations, may involve falling behind the competition, and further even disappearing from the market altogether.
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