Tech Resilience in Ukraine-Russia War: A Deep Dive

Russia launched a full-on invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, Feb 24th. This event has started the most significant war in Europe since World War 2 (WW2).

It is the most significant geopolitical event in Europe since the breakup of the USSR in 1990-1991.

Many people in the tech industry, particularly in Europe and the United States, will feel closer to this war.

The Ukrainian diaspora, consisting of Ukrainians and their descendants, is highly regarded worldwide.

Ukrainian software experts developed or cofounded companies such as

  • PayPal
  • WhatsApp
  • Affirm
  • Grammarly

Many organizations have chosen Ukraine as a preferable location to hire full-time staff and, more importantly, to contract from.

Data that will leave you flabbergasted   

Apart from the world economy, we all are also hurt, feeling rage and a range of emotions inside us seeing what people go through every day.

We must understand the emergency that businesses associated with Ukraine ares till facing.

For companies, mid-size to enterprise-level, from Silicon Valley to Technology Parks, Ukraine is the talent hotspot.

Ukraine was becoming a preferred destination for full-time employees to part-time or contract-based.

  • Softserve is an outsourcing company that employed 9,000 people in Ukraine.
  • Over 6,000 tech employees from Ukraine worked for GlobalLogic, a high-quality outsourcing firm based in Silicon Valley.
  • Luxoft had about 3,500 Ukrainian tech workers. Boeing, Dell, IBM, and Deutsche Bank were among the outsourcing clients.
  • 20,000 estimated people worked in GBS centers in Ukraine.
  • Around 20,000 people worked for third-party service providers in Belarus and Russia.
  • 10,000 estimated people worked in GBS centers in Belarus and Russia.
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The services of nearly 1,00,000 employees were either disrupted or compromised during the Ukraine-Russia war.

While their job got impacted, the work of these companies got hampered too.

Ukraine-Russia war implications on tech

The war has left bruises on all industries, including information technology, and here are a few of the implications that the war has caused to it:

Importance of Ukrainian talent

Businesses relied heavily on Ukraine for tech and other verticals' resources. From people to GBS centers, many companies suffered huge losses or the higher costs of migration of resources and people.

A few reasons why companies chose Ukrainian talent are:

  • labor cost is relatively cheaper
  • shorter notice period for full-time employees
  • lower cost of hiring senior resources

The war is not leaving companies any other choice but to find alternatives. Many are even looking forward to suspending their services for as long as the havoc doesn't stop.

Availability of internet 

The other major problem was the availability of the internet for the employees in Ukraine.

To provide that fundamental right and remain connected to the world, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted, addressing Elon Musk to provide their nation with a Starlink station.

Here's how prompt and smooth the conversation went:

Ukraine-Russia war - Availability of Internet

Tech companies implemented their sanctions 

Global companies started implementing their sanctions to combat the damage the Ukraine-Russia war was causing.

  • Facebook and Google, two giants that rule the internet outright, banned the Russian state media from running ads or monetizing their content all across their platforms.
  • Apple pay, Flexpool (a crypto mining pool), Omnisend (an email and SMS automation tool), and many others suspended their services in Russia.
  • Processor companies like Intel and AMD paused their sales in Russia.

Final thoughts 

Amidst the chaos, here are a few brand stories on how companies helped and reacted to the situation. Some might move you, and some will leave you speechless.   

  1. Start-ups like Beetroot, which had 90% of its employees in Ukraine, had to plan to migrate their tech infrastructure and workforce.    
  1. Like many other brands, Hopin has two dozen employees living in Ukraine. Their CEO's email has gone viral for the right reasons.   

Here's an excerpt from his email to all his staff sent on Feb 24th, 2022, after Russia was all set to invade Ukraine: 

  • "For current Hopineers: We've issued an emergency fund of $3000 that will be executed today (along with regular salary)"
  • Hopineers impacted by our recent restructure: We're paying out February salary, three months' separation pay, the emergency fund of $3000, and an additional three months' salary.
  • Managers have also been asked to check in and remove any workload from those employees. If that's you, please do so."

Being a spectator of this Ukraine-Russia war is different from going through the trauma of the people involved. Also, it is almost impossible to comprehend the reasons behind this bizarre event where a piece of land is the cost of peace.

But it wouldn't be wrong to say that the IT sector has proven itself to be resilient while all of this is going on.

Sure, the industry faced all kinds of problems, from the scarcity of skilled people to migrating the workstations. However, the sanctions implemented along the way gave companies the competitive edge to survive the situation.

Let's hope the dust settles down soon, and the US$ 227 billion worth of the IT sector keeps thriving seamlessly.

Niyati Madhvani

Niyati Madhvani

A flamboyant, hazel-eyed lady, Niyati loves learning new dynamics around marketing and sales. She specializes in building relationships with people through her conversational and writing skills. When she is not thinking about the next content campaign, you'll find her traveling and dwelling in books of any genre!

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