COVID-19 Impact on Software Development: How Ukrainian IT is Responding to the Crisis

COVID-19 Impact on Software Development: How Ukrainian IT is Responding to the Crisis

09 April 2020 • 9 min read

The Covid-19 impact on business is likely to be profound, and will probably last for the end of 2021 or even more - is what business analysts say now. Small and large enterprises need to go through a long-lasting recovery process after the outbreak will end.

In this situation, the IT and software development industries are impacted negatively also. 

At Global Data, researchers posit that the same pace of emerging technologies growth will be paused resulting from Covid-19 and only be renewed in a few years if these tech industries will be able to adapt:

covid impact on industries

Source: @mikequidazzi on Twitter

Software and IT companies, as our Softermii company,  that provide various services will have to deal with the reality of prospective projects getting canceled because they are deemed nonessential in light of the current situation.

The following are some key Covid-19 predictions related to the software development and tech markets:

  • Forrester predicts that the growth of the US and global tech markets will slow to around 2% in 2020.
  • Software spending growth will slow to a range of 2% to 4%. That would be a best-case scenario; in the worst-case scenario, there will be no growth at all.
  • Chinese manufacturers are one of the leading suppliers to technology companies worldwide. Those who have been impacted by the coronavirus will likely fail to make on-time deliveries that have a significant impact on various tech businesses.

But the current situation becomes beneficial for only video conferencing apps and their providers as a lot of employees started to work from home that results in the growth of specific software used to provides remote work:  

  • Cloud infrastructure services should do well. We’ll likely also see an increase in specialized software spending. 
  • Slack Technologies Inc. tells us that due to the global fallout from Covid-19, there’s been a huge surge of interest in workplace-collaboration software.
  • Zoom is an enterprise video communication solution. App Annie says that it has been one of the most downloaded business apps in the US through the Apple Store in the 2nd week of March 2020.
  • IT firms also realize some benefits of outsourcing at the moment having the well-established infrastructure to continue work during the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Telemedicine apps are one more field of technology that is growing during the outbreak as it’s the best way to get the first doctor consultation from home. 

You see, today the coronavirus pandemic is significantly changing the way we live and run business and making us rethinking all we have done before:

how business respond on crisis

Source: The Future Workplace Survey


Global Impact on Tech Giants & Events

As far as Covid-19 affected areas, physical tech conferences are going to be impacted as much as any other niche. This year, ten highly-publicized conferences have been canceled due to the outbreak. Those including Facebook F8, SXSW, Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).  

Some conferences have either been postponed or have moved to an online format. On that list are Dell Technologies World Dell, Microsoft, Nvidia GPU, Amazon, Epic Games, Sony, and EA and Facebook, among others.


How Ukraine is Preventing the Virus from Spreading

The Covid-19 global impact has been sobering, to say the least. As of today, on April 8, there have been 1,464,852 confirmed infection cases around the globe and 85,397 lethal outcomes to the infection. To this point, we have 1,668 confirmed cases in Ukraine and 52 deaths. 

The country hasn’t been as hard-hit as many others, due to early preventative government measures. Ukraine’s Covid-19 reactions have been both swift and measured. Within two weeks of the first confirmed case, both Ukrainian authorities and businesses took drastic actions to prevent the spread. Those included travel bans, schools, all public establishments, and state borders closings, 

The Covid-19 reactions in Ukraine have probably already prevented the mass loss of life. But there is no denying, though, that the economic impact will be severe on the growing Ukrainian economy.


Impact of Covid-19 on Ukrainian Tech Companies

A recent survey by Deloitte and the American Chamber of Commerce evaluated the expected impact of

the pandemic on Ukrainian companies. The findings indicated that businesses expected the pandemic to slow both their sales and overall cash flow. Some have considered structural management changes as a result, while others are looking at similarly drastic options in the face of this unprecedented occurrence.

However, 63% of respondents have already taken steps to monitor the ongoing situation closely. They are thinking mostly about risk management. At the same time, they’re implementing concrete actions to ensure at least some degree of business continuity. 

They have set up working groups consisting of, at minimum, HR, top management, and administration. In some cases, other groups and individuals are represented as well. This type of business reaction plan makes sense. It will allow companies to push forward rather than shuttering in the face of the obstacles that face them. 


How Ukrainian IT Companies Respond

Though almost all IT outsourcing and software development Ukrainian companies are used to work remotely or with distributed teams and already have the needed infrastructure in place. However, like any other business, they will suffer the impact to some degree.

There was a survey conducted by the IT Ukraine Association between March 12-15th. It established that most Ukrainian IT companies had taken action plans and several measures to withstand the effect of the virus on their business and ensure uninterrupted service for their clients.

The companies have limited business travel and public events improved office safety and organized the remote work when the official carnitine was announced. Seeing as the situation is so fluid, most companies are ready to make additional policy changes as they become necessary. 

Another survey by Deloitte asked companies what other plans or actions have already taken actions to keep their employees safe and avoid any operational disruptions.

business actions plan


Our Business Pandemic Response Plan

As for Softermii, when information regarding the pandemic began to surface, we immediately began revising our office and travel policies. Our most prominent physical worksites are located in Ukraine, and we lost no time in following governmental advice regarding isolation and social distancing for our brick-and-mortar locations.  

We informed our employees about virus threats and fell back on any online tools that we could use as much as possible. We also eliminated any nonessential travel. As the situation has further unfolded, we’ve canceled any face-to-face meetings and started relying heavily on online communication tools. We’ve embraced the work-from-home format as much as possible.

Luckily, our business model is such that we’ve been able to continue with the majority of our client projects, and we anticipate that we’ll still be able to provide most of our services until the worldwide situation stabilizes.

The more detailed plan of actions we take in this situation is:

  • Helping with Business Continuity Plans

We understand that the fight against the coronavirus outbreak is one that is likely to take multiple months, while the impact is going to be felt for years. We’re ready to advise our clients, many of whom we know to be scrambling to figure out what their priorities are going to be moving forward. We’re available to speak to you at any time about restructuring your projects. We know that some of these steps might seem painful in light of plans that you may have had, but we’re intent on working with you to make these transitions as smooth as possible. 

  • We Care About Our Employees

These are unprecedented times, and unconventional actions are sometimes necessary to adapt. We’re working night and day to make sure the company remains up and running, both for the sake of our clients and valued employees. For our team members, we’ve launched a comprehensive virus awareness campaign. We also continue to communicate changes in company policies as they arise. We’re encouraging feedback as well. Our first priority is that everyone remains safe and healthy.
We have applied a bunch of technologies and software to ensure our development team has the same high quality.

collaboration tools

We follow a distributed team management model with our clients and employees.

For the past six years, we’ve had a distributed development team working tirelessly for our clients. Because of this, we’re already used to working together even if we’re physically apart. Remote team management isn’t new to us, which is why we’re confident that many of our services should remain unaffected. It’s a challenge to manage distributed teams that can work on different projects remotely, but it’s one that we welcome. 

We’ve analyzed our infrastructure and communicated with our employees to figure out what tools they’ve needed for remote work, and we’ve provided those for them.

We’ve chosen the best tech platforms and collaboration tools for reporting, communicating, task management, video conferencing, development, and design. We’ve studied such platforms extensively already, so leaping into more substantial use of them has been relatively easy. 

  • We’ve retained our focus on productivity

Every employee has his or her own KPIs or metrics for the measurement of productivity. They’re regularly reporting to us on the progress they’re making with their assignments. This is a way to keep up our morale as well as sticking to the task schedules that we’ve laid out. Managing a remote team has always been a part of our business model, so many of our employees have seen little change in their day-to-day tasks. 

We use Agile project methodology while working remotely as well as in-house too

The Agile methodology helps us stay flexible in any case. Agile is built on the idea that conditions can change while a project is being undertaken. That is the perfect mindset to have with something as unstable as a global pandemic wreaking havoc on so many aspects of daily life.

  • We document the defined workflow while engaging in remote work

By keeping careful track of what we do each day, it makes it much easier to make changes that are deemed necessary by our clients.

  • We hold structured daily and weekly meetings

Each of us also posts three things we’re going to accomplish each day. This allows us to provide input on each other’s to-do lists, as well as lend some support and encouragement.

  • We’ve also worked to minimize hand-offs and wait times

This hyper-focus on output lets our clients know that we’re still in their corner, and they can rely on us to complete the projects with which they’re entrusted.

And, of course, we don’t forget to keep the positive mood of our employees during these days and care about our team.

Predictions for the IT Market in a Post-Covid-19 World

The world after Covid-19 is going to be much changed. However, businesses will get through this challenging period in our collective history. 

Tech companies that accept whatever new realities exist will be the ones that thrive, as indeed will be the case for all niches. The IT companies that rethink their strategies and rebuild their processes with an eye on the future are the ones that will weather this storm. 

That is why we’re intent on maintaining our sterling reputation with our clients even while there is so much uncertainty and tumult taking place around the globe. If you are looking to build your website, create an app or any other our software development company services, we’re still intent on giving you a great deliverable with our hyper-personalized approach for every client that hasn’t changed. 

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