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RUSSOFT software developer forum was held in Saint-Petersburg on the 4th of June, in conjunction with the annual “White nights” CIO Congress. This forum organized by RUSSOFT National Software Development Association is a meeting ground for software product developers, IT service providers, industry experts, CIOs and corporate decision-makers and government officials involved in the IT sector.
According to the post-conference survey, the roundtable “Government policies for IT market stimulation” was the most interesting session of the Forum. The government was represented by Sergey Ivanov and Artyom Shadrin from the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry for Economic Development correspondingly – the two Federal ministries, responsible for promotion of innovation economics and information technology. Their presentations covered such topics as the federal program to stimulate development of information society, measures taken to stimulate the demand for IT services in the economic and social sectors, and the tax regimen and tax incentives for software companies.
Auriga President Alexis Sukharev was the first to speak on behalf of the IT community. He said that the government should at least follow through on its own initiatives. In August 2009 President Medvedev ordered an introduction of a special social tax regimen for IT companies, which is the crucial issue for them. Nothing has been done yet, even though the key Ministries on multiple occasions confirmed that they did their parts of the job. Mr. Sukharev also outlined much more efficient government programs in India, China, and Belarus. His presentation brought about multiple supportive comments and questions. The software developers expressed concerns over such issues as administrative complications and red tape, heavier tax load expected in the nearest future, and the lack of support from the state-level bodies for promotion of Russian software exporters on the global arena.
Robert Farish, IDC's regional director for Russia and the CIS region spoke on the global tendencies in software and software development. As the expert noted, internal software market in Russia shrank by 40-45% in 2009, while information security market demonstrated growth. At the global level, indexes for different IT-sphere segments are quite different. Russia’s software export volume growth in 2009 was stalled at the pervious year’s $2,65 billion, despite an average 40% growth in the earlier years. At the same time, software export and IT services sectors of India and China are continuing to gain momentum, with corresponding 16 % and 36 % growth.
However, Robert Farish has a positive outlook for Russian IT in next several years of, and expects a 15 % growth of software spending in Russia а 15 % (the official estimates by RUSSOFT are only 13 %), which surpasses the average world figures. According to Russoft president Valentin Makarov, in 2010 the growth rate for the software sector, will revert to the pre-crisis level.
The participants agreed that the crisis turned out to be reviving for software developers and IT service providers, as small customers tailed off, and large contracts with solid banking and finance were secured. Another noteworthy tendency predicted for 2010-2012 is increase of outsourced software development projects from non-software companies, as they gradually weed out in-house software development activities.
RUSSOFT Association (http://www.russoft.ru) is the nation wide association of the most technically competent software developing companies from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The association is committed to a long-term policy of lobbying favorable legislation for the software development industry and hosts marketing and educational events in Russia and abroad.