Jump to Navigation

The Software and IT Services industry in Austria

Normally Austria is known as a destination for holidays or for its cultural heritage, but Austria is also a country that experienced a fast development in the last 20 years. This development also includes high technology areas like software and IT services. Moreover Austria is an example for a country with very progressive attitude towards eGovernment services. This development also led to a constant growth of the industry, which nearly tripled its share of the private GDP since 1990. Although the share of 1,81% is only around the EU average, this is still an impressive growth. Due to the fact that Austria is a smaller country the total number of employees (~50.000 in 2008) and the total value added (3,3 bio. €) is limited. The industry also mainly consists of a mix of subsidiaries of foreign multinational firms and a number of small, mostly IT services companies. All this makes Austria to an interesting case for researching the development of the Austrian software and IT services industry. Sponsored by Computerwelt, an Austrian IT publisher, Fraunhofer ISI performed an online firm survey with 107 responses in order to analyse the industry. This survey was supplemented by an analysis of further statistical data, for example on exports or value added.

Main results of this analysis were, that:

  • Most of the companies see themselves as IT services companies (~75%). However the distribution of revenues indicates that the development of customer-specific solutions is the main focus, but that the sales of own or of third party software as well as implementation services also play an important role.
  • They expect a positive development of their revenues (growth of 8% in average in 2011) and their number of employees (~11% in 2011)
  • The companies have a strong focus on international activities, because round about 74% have international revenues, of which are 35,6% regular and important. As expected the regional distribution has a clear focus on the other German speaking countries, but also to other middle and east European countries.
  • They also take up new developments like Cloud or Mobile Computing.
  • The Austrian software and IT services companies are highly innovative: 74,5% of the responding companies introduced service or product innovations in the recent years. This confirms other data from statistical sources that indicate a good performance of Austrian companies.

All this underlines the preliminary assesment that the Austrian software and IT service industry experienced a good growth in the last years. Even the financial crisis of 2008/2009 had no deeper impact on their positive expectation towards the future. One reason might be that mostly smaller and service oriented companies are more resilient towards this due to their close relations to their customers. Another one might be the fact of the innovatiness that makes them important to their customers. However these theses have to e further proven with more data in the years to come.