I have no doubt that the trend for introducing digital solutions into the public sector is here to stay
«I have no doubt that the trend for introducing digital solutions into the public sector is here to stay»
– Roman, would you say there are reasons to believe that the public sector is developing a stronger interest in IT? What is causing this tendency and how is it developing?
– The public sector involves organisations of different formats and with varying goals. While government authorities are interested in cutting down the turnaround time and the net cost of the «service» provided to end users, real sector companies with state participation have other interests. In any case, the potential for organic improvement has long been exhausted. The only way to make further optimisation possible is by digitalising all aspects of activities conducted by government bodies and companies. This is why I have no doubt that the trend for introducing digital solutions into the public sector is here to stay.
– Has the COVID-19 crisis affected the cooperation between the government and IT companies, and, if so, in what way?
– One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the shift towards remote information exchange. When it comes to working with the public sector, this applies not only to IT companies, but to other sectors as well. Although the government developed a set of support measures, including those for the key IT organisations, the quality and the speed of exchanging information regarding changes during critical situations were far from ideal.
– Could you provide some examples of the above, related to your company specifically?
– After the first 6 months of 2020, we noticed a short-term increase in the demand for digital anti-crisis solutions among public sector companies, which was likely due to the nature of their budgeting. It's quite hard to track down other trends in the industry, because we don't have a separate production cycle for customers from the public sector. For our specialists, the quality of project implementation and the importance of projects are not dictated by the sector a specific company belongs to.
– In your opinion, how big of a role the government has played and is playing in the development and the current state of affairs in your company?
– The public sector is one of our key customers. This is largely due to the fact that government enterprises are able to plan and implement innovative solutions beyond the limits of a traditional short-term technical and economic analysis. At the same time, we successfully operate in other areas, without government participation or involving government companies that function as commercial organisations.
– The increase in the share of government companies in the IT market and the creation of high-technology departments: how do these factors affect the market and what are their consequences, pros and cons?
– Creation of high-technology departments in government companies first and foremost indicates a growing expertise of our customers, through the introduction of mindful and quality planning. We do not believe that this will create a tougher competition, because we are currently seeing a high demand for advanced digital solutions, and the Russian market is far from being «oversaturated».
– A regulatory authority has announced plans for growing the share of IT in the Russian GDP and increasing the number of IT specialists. How realistic and viable do you think these plans are?
– The specified goals sound ambitious. They prove the important role the IT sector plays in the development of the Russian economy. I believe that positive results can be achieved through careful implementation of tasks and being flexible in the ever-changing environment, which is a popular requirement these days.
– What do you think the government and IT companies must do to truly strengthen the Russian IT sector in the near future?
– It's important to maintain a balance between short-term and medium-term tasks and projects. This year has presented us with a lot of
unexpected challenges that require immediate action. Right now we are back to searching for a balance between individual project solutions within budgeting regulations and competition procedures, and a strategic vision of development that would generate maximum synergy and benefits from specific projects.
– Thank you for the interview!
Author: Roman Ostapchuk, Deputy CEO, Technical Development at STEP LOGIC