The numbers confirm: IT has the potential to become a strategic sector for Montenegro’s development
The potential of the IT industry is receiving increasing attention from the public, and Montenegro is becoming an important country for IT investments. The actual potential was revealed by the figures presented at today’s press conference organized by ICT Cortex and the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, where the results of ICT research were presented.
Montenegro is experiencing growth in the ICT sector when analyzing the number of companies, employees, as well as revenue and profit. This was demonstrated by the analysis of the IT sector in Montenegro conducted by the consultancy firm ‘CEED Consulting’ for the needs of the ICT Cortex cluster, under the auspices of the Reconomy program.
One particularly interesting finding of the research is that the export of computer services increased to a record 21% in 2022, while in 2017 it was only 3%.
“The war in Ukraine has influenced the growth in the number of companies. Despite the crisis, the IT sector is experiencing growth in all observed parameters, and the IT industry has also achieved revenue growth. The analysis has shown that companies are facing a shortage of qualified workforce,” said Jovana Vujačić from ‘CEED Consulting.’
From a sample of 70 companies that participated in the survey, the following interesting data were highlighted:
- As an important segment for improving the ecosystem for the development of the IT sector in Montenegro, 37.5% of companies emphasize the introduction of PayPal or another credible payment processor.
- Out of the total number of respondents, 82.8% plan for their employees to spend a certain amount of their time on developing new products.
- In the next three years, 55.7% of them plan to create spin-offs and startups.
- In the next three years, 87.1% of companies plan to create new jobs. In total, these companies plan to open 725 new positions (out of 70 surveyed).
- Out of the total number of companies, 12.8% did not allocate funds for innovation. Among other companies, an average of 20.1% of total revenue is directed towards innovation. One-fifth of companies allocate 30% or more of their revenue to innovation.
Nina Drakić, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, stated that besides tourism, agriculture, and energy, the IT sector is recognized as a strategic sector.
“The IT sector had the highest growth last year, which speaks to its potential,” Drakić said.
Statistics show that the number of registered companies in the ICT sector has been steadily increasing annually. In the past year, 1,497 companies were registered, and from the beginning of this year until April, 313 companies have been registered.
“Over the past five years, the structure of the ICT sector has changed. Statistics show that 84% of the ICT sector consists of the IT sector. Compared to other sectors, the ICT sector deserves to be a priority economic sector,” said Nada Rakočević, Secretary of the Association of Information and Communication Technology within the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro. She also emphasized key figures, indicating an almost 70% increase in the number of companies and a 44% increase in the number of employees.
The ICT Cortex cluster announced that in the past year, revenues in the ICT industry amounted to 602.432.407 million euros.
“Compared to 2019, a net result of over 100% has been achieved. With the growth of ICT companies, the number of employees has also increased by 30% last year compared to 2021,” said Milena Aković, representing the ICT Cortex cluster.
She stated that it is essential to emphasize the importance and potential of the IT industry, which should become a strategic sector.
Vladan Tabaš, Executive Director of ‘Čikom’ and President of the Board of Directors of ICT Cortex, said that the IT sector is growing rapidly, but that we cannot be satisfied with the level of digital transformation of society.
“IT has advanced significantly, but digital transformation in Montenegro is slow. We are entering the digital world, and perhaps the turning point was the COVID-19 pandemic. The hindrance is our educational system, which does not produce skilled workers. We need skilled personnel, and therefore, we appeal for many changes in the educational system of Montenegro,” said Tabaš.