Relocation, infosecurity improvements, and new clients. What has changed in SoftServe in six months of war?
The war forced Ukrainian businesses to transform, change business processes, and rethink priorities and focuses. After six months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, SoftServe summarizes the most significant changes for the company.
“The last half-year has been extremely difficult for all of us, for every Ukrainian associate. At first, we were panicking, worrying, were anxious; after that, we were coping with stress, coming back to life, and achieving unprecedented efficiency in incredibly complex circumstances. Businesses had to unite and show creativity, flexibility, and resilience. This experience, like nothing else, will make SoftServe and the whole Ukrainian IT industry more resistant in the face of future challenges, no matter what,” says Anastasia Frolova, Country Manager Ukraine, SoftServe.
From relocation to legalization
At the beginning of the war, more than 1700 specialists relocated abroad. 22% are legalized in the new locations or in the process of legalization. As of mid-August, 180 people have completed the transfer, and another 200 are in different stages of this process. Poland remains the most popular location. Meanwhile, specialists also choose Romania, Bulgaria, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, and Singapore. Primarily, this option is used by people who plan to stay abroad for a year or more.
In general, the number of relocations inside Ukraine and abroad significantly decreased compared to the first months of the war. If there were more than 3,000 applications for relocation in March, in July, only 467 tickets were registered. Currently, all relocations within Ukraine and outside the country are related to associates’ long-term plans.
Resuming the plans for growth
Despite the war, SoftServe hasn’t slowed down the growth rate for the business and plans to grow by 30% by the end of 2022. According to the company, the new offices in Latin America, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria will mostly drive this development.
At the same time, SoftServe continues to grow in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war, the company hired 900 specialists: 150 from the market and the rest from the reserve.
What was the impact on clients?
Because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, some clients decided to move development and hiring abroad, and a small number of clients had to terminate their cooperation with SoftServe. However, the company attracted a dozen new partners. As of the end of the half-year, their number amounts to 322. Many clients expanded their partnership with SoftServe by adding new projects to the portfolio. So, despite the war and expectations of recession, the demand for consulting and software development services creates conditions for further development.
At the beginning of the war, the risk of losing customers was higher. SoftServe has taken actions in infosecurity, data protection, communications and other processes to avoid this. In particular, every unit developed a BCP plan and presented it to the client, and progress was reported regularly. Clients also received status reports with data about relocation, project productivity, etc.
What has changed in infosecurity?
Before the invasion, the company preventively moved all services hosted in Ukraine abroad or to cloud infrastructure. In particular, the systems from the data center in Lviv were transferred to Frankfurt.
The company purchased StarLinks kits to strengthen office infrastructure, becoming one of the first companies in Ukraine to buy it. SoftServe donated a part of them to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, while 26 kits were installed in the main hubs in Ukraine. Also, the main data center in Lviv was provided with an independent Internet channel through optics in Poland and other backup communication channels in the case of a blackout or emergency.
For safety reasons, in the first hours of the invasion, SoftServe blocked the possibility of connection to the company’s systems from Russia and Belarus. Also, the company prohibited any activity in these territories for the specialists.
SoftServe updates cybersecurity standards and protocols regularly. Also, the company created an up-to-date Security Operations Center, set up an effective process of identifying and remediating vulnerabilities, and provided sufficient safety control, allowing to protect systems and clients’ data successfully.