Feeds

IT in Eastern Europe

In the first of a series, we look at Central and Eastern Europe

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Analysis The Central and East European Countries (dubbed the CEEC in Euro-jargon) constitute a fast-growing, emerging market that is likely to be highly significant in the next ten years. Much attention was focussed on the Asian tiger economies until economic conditions became tough there, but the size of their IT market is insignificant compared with that of the CEEC. In terms of GDP growth per capita, nine of the top twelve countries in the world are in the CEEC, and in terms of population, the block is similar in size to Western Europe or North America. A clincher for the linguistically challenged is that English is the lingua franca of these countries in the IT world, to the dismay of the Germans and French. We shall be reviewing the IT activity in the CEEC on a country-by-country basis over the next few weeks, and in the future we expect to include updates in The Register about significant IT developments. It is an opportune moment to do this, as the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall occurs in November, which was of course followed by the Mikhail Gorbachev's era of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (reconstruction), the eventual transformation of Russia following his resignation on Christmas Day 1991, and the final hauling down of the hammer and sickle over the Kremlin the next day. The new era of reform and democratisation has been slow and painful, with Russia finding itself behind most of the CEEC in IT development. Five CEEC countries (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia) - as well as Cyprus - are negotiating for European Union membership in 2002. These countries are known as the "acquis" in Euro-jargon. Russia is far from being able to meet the economic criteria for membership, even if it wished to join. The acquis have their sights firmly fixed on the subsidies and grants they expect to receive from the EU, and are fully aware of how Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal have benefited at the expense of other EU members. Mostly the CEEC seems to consider the EU to be a good thing, but there is considerable concern at the weakness of the euro. It is unlikely that any of the acquis would be in a position to join the EMU for some years after their joining the EU, since their economies are not robust. There is an alternative in place should the EU founder as a result of the collapse of the monetary union: the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) has seven member countries with a 100 million people, and it is probable that Russia would join, adding its 150 million people to what could be a successful independent trading block. Using data from IDC and the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO) task force, the IT expenditure is highest in the Czech Republic (116 euros per capita in 1997), followed by Slovenia (109), Hungary (81), Estonia (75), Slovakia (55), Poland (40) and Russia (20). Already, the CEEC is catching up with some of the West European laggards - IT per capita expenditure in Greece in 1997 was just 84 euros, Portugal was 128, and Spain 168. By comparison, the US expenditure was 1,075, the UK 627, France 526, and Germany 492. IT expenditure as a percentage of GDP is similar in the acquis countries to that of Western Europe. The major problem in the East European market is of course the lack of funds to spend on hardware. Software presents a different kind of problem, in that there is a great deal of piracy so that CD-ROMs, of MS Office for example, have a street cost of around $5. Microsoft also seems to be maintaining its position in the world of unprofitable market share. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?