Outsourcing Software Development to Eastern Europe: A comprehensive guide for 2024
15-minute read
Published 14, Mar 2024

Many companies, from startups to global leaders, seek opportunities for outsourcing software development to Eastern Europe.

The region offers a rich pool of skilled professionals and allows businesses to achieve significant savings without compromising on the quality of work.

How to choose the best location for outsourcing your software development in Eastern Europe? And how to select a reliable and resilient technology partner?

This article provides a comprehensive guide to Eastern Europe’s top software development outsourcing destinations: Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Romania.

Drawing upon extensive research, we present a detailed overview of these countries’ thriving tech ecosystems, highlighting their attractiveness to businesses seeking to leverage external talent for software development projects.

IT outsourcing in Eastern Europe overview

Market Statistics

One of the key benefits of outsourcing software development to Eastern Europe is its robust digital landscape and thriving tech ecosystem.

According to Statista, we can expect the IT and Business Process outsourcing market to reach a revenue of $10.92bn USD in 2024, and it will continue to grow at an annual rate of 8.44% CAGR. This implies a robust and sustained growth trajectory for the IT services market. Businesses in this sector can anticipate increasing opportunities and demand for their services, reflecting a positive trend in the industry.

IT outsourcing market revenue in Eastern Europe

According to Clutch, over 3,500 software development companies in Eastern Europe provide outsourcing services.

Eastern European tech trends

The region’s digital transformation trends and significant adoption of cutting-edge technologies are reshaping how industries, workplaces, and various sectors operate. With a focus on AI, multi-cloud environments, IoT, cybersecurity, and app development, digital transformation in countries like Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland offers a fertile ground for innovation.

Digital transformation trends that shape the region’s tech market:

  • Cybersecurity prioritization. Robust encryption protocols protect sensitive customer data, ensure confidentiality, and avoid reputational damages. In Ukraine, digitalization has prompted a strong emphasis on cybersecurity to prevent data breaches.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML). AI enhances efficiency, reduces labor expenses, and provides data-driven insights, as demonstrated by AI-driven chatbots for customer service. For example, the AI market in Poland surpassed $572 million, strongly emphasizing machine learning applications.
  • IoT and 5G Integration. This collaboration facilitates advancements such as AI-driven inspections, automation, and video inspections for streamlined processes. The region strategically focuses on integrating IoT and 5G, particularly in manufacturing, leading to real-time monitoring and operational efficiency.

European tech trends

Time Zone

The EET time zone offers several strategic advantages for businesses seeking remote developers in Eastern Europe. The countries often share time zones or have a minimal time difference with Western European countries. This overlap facilitates real-time collaboration, reducing communication delays and enabling efficient coordination between outsourcing teams and clients.

For businesses in North America, Eastern Europe’s time zone can also be advantageous. While there is a time difference, it allows for extended work hours and the possibility of progress on projects even during the client’s off-hours. This can lead to faster development cycles and quicker responses to issues.

In case of issues or emergencies, having teams within a reasonable time zone proximity enables quick and efficient problem resolution. Teams can address issues promptly during their regular working hours without significant delays. Project management becomes more streamlined when teams can communicate and collaborate in near-real-time. Shared working hours facilitate regular updates, progress tracking, and the ability to address any project-related concerns promptly.

Top locations of IT outsourcing to Eastern Europe


Outsourcing software development in Poland

Poland has become a popular destination for outsourcing software development, and it is often considered a good choice for its growing IT sector and favorable business environment. The lion’s share of developers work for international companies, conforming to high business etiquette standards and current project management methodologies.

Poland holds the 9th place on the list of all European countries by GDP. The country also ranks 13th according to Kearney’s Global Index which evaluates financial attractiveness, availability of skills, business environment, and digital resonance.

Talent pool

With over 525,000 IT specialists, Poland boasts the most extensive IT talent pool in Central & Eastern Europe. Additionally, the country has provided shelter to many Ukrainian software engineers, further enriching its talent pool.

Tech expertise

Polish IT specialists are well-versed in such technologies as JavaScript, Java, PHP, C++, C#, and Python.

Governmental support

The Polish government supports the tech industry through legislative compliance with EU standards, including GDPR, and through a strong economy and well-developed IT infrastructure. Moreover, the government’s focus on industries like cybersecurity, transportation, Fintech, and Enterprise Software attracts significant VC investments into the country.

Tech Hubs

  • Warsaw is the capital and largest city in Poland, housing a quarter of the tech workforce, according to Statista. It also became one of the top 10 major European cities in the eighth iteration of fDi Intelligence 2022/2023 ranking, which makes it a good choice for R&D branches.
  • Kraków boasts a business-friendly environment, strong human capital, and a vibrant startup ecosystem.
  • Wrocław is referred to as the Silicon Valley of Poland, attracting over 200 tech companies, according to the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation.
  • Katowice is recognized as one of Poland’s most technologically advanced cities, accounting for 9.3% of the tech workforce employed by over 180 companies.


Romania outsourcing destination

Romania has been recognized as an emerging and competitive destination for outsourcing software development in Eastern Europe, with a pool of highly skilled and well-educated IT professionals. The country has been investing in its technology infrastructure, and major cities, such as Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, and Timişoara, have become tech hubs with access to modern facilities and resources. Romania ranks 55th out of 190 countries on the World Bank Group’s ease of doing business rating.

Talent pool

According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, Romania has almost 192,000 ICT professionals as of 2023. The tech workforce is growing steadily, as there were 140,000 specialists in 2020.

Tech expertise

IT professionals in Romania are well-versed in popular technologies, including JavaScript, Python, .NET, Java, C++, and PHP.

Governmental support

The Romanian government aims to enhance digital education and accelerate progress in the digitalization of public services. This includes focusing on policies that promote digital literacy and accessibility to digital services for citizens. For example, the Ministerial Roundtable in Bucharest resulted in the “Bucharest Declaration on Building a Better Digital Future for All.” This declaration emphasizes the commitment to universal access to affordable and high-quality telecommunications/ICTs, and collaboration with global organizations for an inclusive, connected, sustainable, and secure digital economy and society.

Tech Hubs

  • Bucharest is the capital city and major hub, responsible for 63% of the nationwide revenue. It hosts numerous multinational corporations and research centers, including Microsoft support centers.
  • Cluj-Napoca, often called the “Silicon Valley of Transylvania,” is home to many IT companies, startups, and tech incubators. The city strongly focuses on innovation and a vibrant community of developers and entrepreneurs.
  • Timişoara has a well-educated workforce and has become a hub for software development, research, and innovation. The city’s strategic location near the border with Hungary and Serbia contributes to its attractiveness for international collaborations.


Outsourcing software development in Ukraine

Ukraine offers a robust ecosystem of technical expertise, government support, and cultural alignment, making it a remarkable destination for businesses that want to outsource software development from Eastern Europe that allows for optimizing project costs.

Outsourcing software development to Ukraine can allow businesses to reduce costs by up to 60% while ensuring an in-house level of quality and delivery speed. Here, you can find strong tech talent faster and get access to highly qualified engineers with high cultural compatibility and a strong work ethic. Thanks to this, you can ramp up and down software development teams painlessly, accelerate time-to-market, and ensure engineering excellence.

Growing talent pool

According to the Lviv IT Cluster, the number of IT specialists has grown by 7% over 2023 — around 242K tech professionals currently living and working in Ukraine. The country has scored 15th place on the Global Skill Report by Coursera regarding professional skills in business, technology, and data science. This is six positions higher than in 2022.

Tech expertise

Based on the data from DOU, the most popular technologies among Ukrainian IT specialists are JavaScript, C#, Java, Python, PHP, TypeScript, Kotlin, Swift, and C++. You can also find talent with Ruby, Scala, and Rust experience.

Governmental support

The Ukrainian government supports the IT industry, implementing policies and initiatives to promote its growth, and creating a favorable environment for outsourcing providers in Ukraine. The IT education also gets support from the government. Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation aims to involve 6M Ukrainians in acquiring digital skills via its Diia Osvita project.

Tech Hubs

  • Kyiv is Ukraine’s capital and largest city, home to the country’s first technology park UNIT.City and biggest community of founders and startups.
  • Lviv has 499 tech companies as of 2023, based on data from the Lviv IT Cluster, constituting 28% of IT business in Ukraine. The city takes second place for the number of specialists.
  • Kharkiv is an important center for IT activities. It has a well-established IT infrastructure, and the city is home to various tech companies and research institutions, particularly in software development and IT consulting.
  • Odesa is also an emerging tech hub on the Black Sea coast. All major IT venues and business centers are within walking distance of the city center. With 11 institutes, the city actively contributes to the abundance of Ukrainian tech talent.
  • Dnipro has a range of IT companies, startups, and development centers, contributing to the overall strength of Ukraine’s IT landscape. The city is home to major international companies, such as Siemens, WIX, and Playtika.
Read more about Outsourcing Software Development in Ukraine


Software development outsourcing in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has been gaining recognition as a favorable destination for Eastern Europe software development outsourcing. The country has been developing a robust tech ecosystem, with numerous tech parks, innovation hubs, and startup incubators. This fosters a dynamic environment for software development and innovation.

Talent pool

Bulgaria has a well-educated and skilled workforce in the field of IT and software development. According to Eurostat, the country has about 340,000 ICT specialists.

Tech expertise

Bulgaria’s ICT specialists are proficient in Java, C#, Python, and JavaScript.

Governmental support

Bulgaria’s government has demonstrated a commitment to fostering the growth of the IT industry through various initiatives and support mechanisms. For example, the Ministry of Economics fully funds the Sophia Tech Park.

Tech Hubs

  • Sofia is the capital and a major tech hub in Bulgaria. It hosts numerous IT companies, startups, and tech events. Sofia has numerous coworking spaces, tech parks, and innovation centers that foster collaboration and innovation.
  • Plovdiv, the second-largest city in Bulgaria, has been gaining recognition as a tech hub. It has a growing number of IT companies and startups and actively participates in the local tech ecosystem development.
  • Varna is located on the Black Sea coast and has a developing tech scene focusing on IT and software development. The city hosts various tech events and supports the growth of local IT businesses.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has been recognized as a viable destination for outsourcing software development in Eastern Europe. The country has a well-developed infrastructure and a strong IT ecosystem, including modern technology parks and business centers. The Czech Republic has a stable economy and a favorable business environment, providing a sense of security for businesses considering outsourcing partnerships.

Talent pool

According to CzechInvest, the country has around 200,000 specialists employed in the ICT sector. As of 2024, there are over 27,000 students in ICT programs, which means the workforce is growing.

Tech expertise

The Czech IT professionals are well-versed in popular technologies, including PHP, Python, Perl, ASP.NET, and Java.

Governmental support

The government provides grants and financial support for research and development activities in the IT sector. In particular, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has established CzechInvest – a state organization for supporting business and investments in technology.

Tech Hubs

  • Prague is the capital city and a major hub for IT and technology. It hosts numerous technology events, conferences, and meetups, bringing together professionals, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts. Prague is home to various technology parks and innovation centers, such as VZLU, fostering collaboration and the exchange of ideas.
  • Brno is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic and is known for its strong focus on technology and research. The Masaryk University in Brno is particularly recognized for its contributions to IT education and research.
  • Ostrava has been growing as a technological hub. It has been making efforts to attract tech companies and startups. The Technical University of Ostrava plays a role in the local IT ecosystem development.

How to select an outsourcing partner in Eastern Europe

The region boasts a pool of skilled IT professionals and a favorable business environment. However, selecting the right software development company in Eastern Europe requires careful consideration and research. Here are key recommendations to ensure a successful partnership:

Recruitment practices: acquiring specialized talent quickly

Evaluate the outsourcing company’s recruitment practices, especially concerning specialists with specific expertise relevant to your project. Search for a company that can attract talent globally, ensuring a diverse and skilled team. Swift talent acquisition is crucial for project timelines; assess the outsourcing partner’s ability to scale the team according to your project’s needs.

Collaboration practices: building long-lasting partnerships

Examine the outsourcing company’s track record in establishing enduring partnerships with clients. Success stories and reviews on platforms like Clutch can provide insights into the provider’s commitment to delivering consistent, high-quality results. Choose a partner with a history of adaptability to evolving project requirements, showcasing flexibility and responsiveness.

Cooperation model flexibility: adapting to varied project requirements

Different projects demand different cooperation models. Ensure the outsourcing company can cater to various needs, whether it’s team extension or forming an entirely new dedicated team. Flexibility in collaboration models ensures a tailored approach, optimizing efficiency and productivity based on project specifications.

Investment in hired talent: fostering a positive work environment

Partner with an Eastern Europe outsourcing software development company that invests in employee professional development and retention. A forward-thinking outsourcing partner understands current industry trends, fostering a positive work environment and contributing to employee satisfaction and project success.

Knowledge transfer plan: proactive engagement in your project

A robust knowledge transfer plan signifies the outsourcing company’s proactive engagement in your project. Evaluate their process for understanding your needs, setting up necessary technologies, and ensuring a successful first release. A comprehensive knowledge transfer plan indicates a partner committed to the success and longevity of your project.

Selecting the right provider of software developers in Eastern Europe requires thoroughly evaluating their recruitment and collaboration practices, cooperation model flexibility, talent investment, and a robust knowledge transfer plan. By prioritizing these considerations, you can ensure a successful and lasting partnership that delivers exceptional results for their software development projects.

Success stories of companies that outsourced with ZoolaTech

Digital foundation for integrating all business processes for a leading European retailer

In 2021, the company started its Digital transformation to support its growth strategy. The company decided to develop a scalable integration hub based on Event-Driven Architecture and Kafka to solve the following issues and build a solid foundation for digital transformation:

  • Reduce latency and increase data accuracy
  • Increase scalability
  • Eliminate data duplication
  • Reduce the amount of memory and processing power used
  • Reduce maintenance expenses and complexity
  • Make the efficiency and correctness of data exchange more trackable
  • Eliminate operational and analytical data discrepancies

ZoolaTech approach

With a precise focus on the company’s business needs, we helped our client choose the most suitable tech stack and architecture for the platform to reduce maintenance expenses, withstand high load, and mitigate risks.

We provided a strong engineering team that built a PoC and MVP and proceeded with further product development. The ZoolaTech team prepared a set of clear engineering standards to drive operational excellence and optimize costs.

We helped our client streamline, unify, and standardize all DevOps processes and apply the best DevOps practices. We also helped integrate their ERP, transportation management, and warehouse management systems and made the data exchange between these diverse systems fast, efficient, and consistent. It helps to provide real-time or near real-time visibility into all inventory levels and optimize logistics and transportation management.

Value delivered by ZoolaTech

The product created a digital foundation for integrating all business processes and operating digitally end-to-end. It helps our partner to:

  • Ensure seamless integration, facilitating fast, efficient, and accurate data exchange between multiple systems.
  • Significantly reduce latency from 36 hours to milliseconds, enhancing data accuracy.
  • Unlock the value of real-time data analytics, offering visibility into all business processes.
  • Build a robust foundation for implementing Advanced Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Provide an omnichannel user experience.
  • Increase fault tolerance to enhance system reliability.
  • Enable more efficient management of logistics and transportation.
  • Ensure future-proof scalability to accommodate growing business needs.
  • Reduce maintenance expenses and complexity for improved operational efficiency.

An offshore delivery center for a Fortune 500 FashionTech company

Our client is a Fortune 500 company and a major player in the US FashionTech sector. They needed to rapidly expand development capabilities to boost flexibility and accelerate modernization, adoption of innovations, and delivery of new apps. So, the company required a reliable software development partner to help with this goal.

ZoolaTech approach

For the Fortune 500 retail company, we facilitated the establishment of an Offshore Delivery Center (ODC) comprising 185 people and 40 teams. This ODC provided the flexibility to scale the team as needed and granted access to a diverse talent pool, fostering innovation and swift problem-solving.

ZoolaTech has evolved into a strategic software development partner for our client. Our teams at ZoolaTech and in the United States share equal rights and responsibilities. This collaborative effort ensures proactive leveraging of technical expertise, implementation of standardized processes, and proactive proposal of innovative solutions to optimize costs and mitigate potential risks.

Value delivered by ZoolaTech

ZoolaTech played a pivotal role in helping our client achieve a two-fold increase in development velocity and time-to-market. We helped to improve scalability, prevent downtime during peak periods, and significantly enhance user experience and engagement time.

ZoolaTech’s solution architects and principal engineers consistently provide tech solutions aligned with our client’s functional needs and overarching business goals. This ensures that our technological interventions are not just innovative but directly contribute to the achievement of business objectives.

Why choose Zoolatech as your software development company in Eastern Europe?
  • ZoolaTech is a global software development company, headquartered in the USA, with offices in Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, and Mexico.
  • We provide flexible cooperation models: ODC, Team Extension, Managed Delivery, or mixed.
  • When starting cooperation, we provide a team of experts with 5+ years of experience.
  • ZoolaTech values every teammate regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities, cultural background, or nationality.
  • 96% – client retention rate
  • 60% – senior software engineers
  • 50% – women in leadership
  • 10+ languages and 20+ nations
  • Trusted by Fortune 500 companies
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Roman Kaplun
CEO and Co-founder
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