In a previous post, we looked into the Krakow start-up scene and today we are turning our eyes to the city’s largest software and IT companies. There’s a reason for it: Krakow’s IT landscape appears to be dominated by the large players. The 13 biggest companies employ roughly 11 000 engineers in Krakow. A great majority of them are foreign businesses, with six being American companies.
Instead of going straight to the list, let’s first have a look at three ways of how the big companies influence the local talent pool.Check out also: Krakow IT Market Report 2021
Growth and demand
To say that the presence of the large players influences the job market significantly is not enough. In fact, it has created the IT job market in Krakow, in the first place. Back in the early 2000’s there weren’t really any large firms (except for Comarch) here and there was only a handful of foreign companies in Krakow. And then things started changing. The high demand for engineers motivated universities to open more C.S. courses (now there are over 15 of them in the city); it encouraged the engineers from other fields to try working as programmers, it helped persuade people from other Polish cities to come to Krakow, other businesses to open their offices here, etc.
Now, the demand is so significant, it seems any number of engineers can be hired by employers. As highlighted by our partner inhire.io and featured in our Krakow IT Market Report 2021, there are over 1 300 IT job postings in Krakow per quarter published on the four main IT job boards in Poland, including for developers, testers, consultants etc. Just these 13 companies, having an average annual growth of a modest 5%, generate the demand for 550 engineers a year.
Large foreign companies come to Krakow attracted by the large IT talent pool. With more than 45 000 IT professionals, Krakow is the second largest pool in Poland, after Warsaw and before Wroclaw. Check out our Krakow IT Market Report 2021 to learn more about Krakow talent pool characteristics, salaries and hiring practices.
Foreign technology companies also come here for the possibility of building a larger team thanks to reduced operational and labor costs. Even if Polish developers are not as affordable as they used to be 10 years ago, the financial gain achieved with offshoring or nearshoring to Krakow is still significant. If you combine it with the low risk of setting up an office in the EU, it’s a bargain. By creating a software lab of 500 people here in Krakow, a company can save tens of millions of dollars per year in comparison to building a similar team back home. This tells us that the big, foreign companies are here to stay and grow.
Big Brothers’ benefits and downsides
For many engineers, particularly the young ones, joining a large organization carries a number of advantages. But it is more than that. Ultimately the benefits and gains for individuals, convert to the capacity of the entire talent pool of the city. Large companies have the power to influence the skills and experience of large groups of specialists and they often offer options not available at smaller organizations such as:
- unique perspective of working for large international brands,
- valuable international exposure,
- ability to move horizontally within the organization to learn different areas of operations,
- opportunities for a temporary or even a permanent relocation abroad,
- focus on the employee’s growth and development in comparison to smaller organizations where budgets might be more tight and training less engraved in the organization’s DNA,
- learning how large, global business works from within,
- experiencing the culture of a global company.
This, however, works both ways. Certain disadvantages of working for big organizations can propagate and influence the city’s talent pool. No doubt, these weaknesses of large corporations are controversial, and do not apply to all organizations, but we simply want to draw a more complete picture. Consider the following:
- rigidity of organizational processes and the role of hierarchy tends to impact individual creativity,
- often times employees have a very limited understanding of the bigger picture or anything that is outside their narrow field of focus,
- limited or no influence on the decisions made can trigger a passive attitude and some kind of a “learned helplessness” as a conviction that nothing can be changed,
- certain companies offshore primarily older software products that use outdated technologies,
- systematic, goal-based employee assessment can trigger risk aversion with employees committing only to the initiatives they are certain they will succeed in.
Krakow Largest Software and IT Companies
Okay, so without further ado, here are the top 13 companies in alphabetical order. The criteria for the list of the biggest was to have over 400 engineers/IT specialists employed in Krakow. If we missed a name, or got the data about the current size of the team wrong, please let us know, we’ll fix it.
ABB, expanded significantly in the last 5 years and now employs over 900 engineers/IT specialists in Krakow. ABB, a Swiss software provider, builds solutions primarily with .NET. The Krakow office was established in 1997.
Akamai Technologies, a US-based network infrastructure provider now employs over 400 engineers/IT specialists in its Krakow service center. Established in 2011, it primarily hires engineers with Java programming skills and a good command of Linux administration and networking.
Aptiv (formerly Delphi) is one of the oldest foreign IT companies operating in Krakow. The Krakow office was established in 2000 and now employs around 1 300 engineers/IT specialists.
Capgemini is the only French company on the list. Capgemini is really large in Krakow, but most of its crew of over 3 000 employees work in non-IT roles, with close to 700 IT specialists. These are primarily non-development positions. Capgemini is a global professional services company and currently one of the biggest employers in Krakow.
Cisco opened its Krakow campus in 2012. The company is well-known for its network infrastructure solutions and now employs 2 000 people in Krakow, including 1 000 engineers/IT specialists. Download our Krakow IT Market Report 2021 to learn more about Krakow IT companies and read the Expert View of Ramon Tancinco – Krakow Site Leader at Cisco.
Comarch is the only Polish company on the list. Established in 1993, it has grown to become one of the largest Polish software firms. Comarch employs over 3 500 people in Krakow with at least 2 500 of them in technical roles. Comarch is the largest employer of IT talent in Krakow.
EPAM Systems came to Krakow in 2011 and employs close to 1000 engineers/IT specialists providing services to large corporations.
Ericsson, formerly functioning as the independent company Ericpol acquired by Ericsson in 2016. The Swedish telco infrastructure manufacturer employs over 500 engineers/IT specialists in Krakow.
HCL Technologies, an Indian consulting company, was setup in Krakow in 2007 and initially focused primarily on help desk projects. Now with its 1 200 engineers/IT specialists it serves international customers in 20+ countries around the globe.
Luxoft, with its 500 engineers/IT specialists, provides software services to financial institutions such as UBS. Luxoft has contributed to the increasing pool of IT experts in Krakow by relocating some of its engineers from Ukraine to Krakow.
Motorola Solutions is yet another network infrastructure company that employs over 1 000 engineers/IT specialists. Established here in 1996, it was the first large multinational company to come to Krakow.
Nokia Networks, a Finish network infrastructure provider, employs 600 engineers/IT specialists in its Krakow location. The team here works on embedded systems and network applications, generating demand for C/C++ programmers, Linux and networking specialists.
Sabre Polska, with its 1 200 engineers/IT specialists was one of the first companies to set up its development center in Krakow. Since 2000 it has grown to become one of the largest Sabre offices in the world.
Non-IT Companies Hiring Engineers in Krakow
Not only software and IT companies hire engineers here. Krakow being a major business services hub in Europe, many companies started by employing non-IT personnel and then expanded to hire technology specialists. These non-IT companies are primarily financial institutions, such as UBS (Switzerland) or HSBC (United Kingdom) to name the largest, each employing close to 1 000 engineers/IT specialists.
Learn more about the non-IT companies hiring engineers in Krakow by downloading our Krakow IT Market Report 2021.
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If you are looking for more information about setting up your presence in Poland, download our Krakow IT Market Report 2021.
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