The Polish IT market holds great medium term potential, with total spending forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% 2013-2017. However, we have downgraded our short-term growth outlook based on the rapid transition in consumer spending away from notebooks to low-cost tablets, a trend which will sustain unit sales but squeeze the total value of sales. Looking further ahead, we expect the market will record faster growth from 2014 as the economic environment becomes more supportive. Key growth drivers within the IT market include the distribution of EU funds for ICT and information society-related initiatives, and rising real incomes in the later part of our forecast period which will underpin consumer and enterprise confidence.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Computer Hardware Sales: PLN12.1bn in 2013 to PLN14.1bn in 2017, CAGR of 3.3% in local currency terms. Downgraded forecast as consumers opt for cheap tablets in preference to notebooks and premium tablets, however the market will continue to grow as household PC penetration is expected to continue converging with Western Europe.
- Software Sales: PLN5.2bn in 2013 to PLN6.7bn in 2017, CAGR of 6.3.% in local currency terms. Enterprise software market will continue to grow as vendors target SMEs, while in terms of operating systems the launch of Windows 8 in October 2012 and withdrawal of support for XP from 2014 will catalyse upgrades.
- IT Services Sales: PLN11.7bn in 2013 to PLN15.8bn in 2017, CAGR of 7.4% in local currency terms. Cloud computing will be the leading growth area, but there are also large opportunities in outsourcing in which Poland is a regional leader.
Key Trends And Developments
The PC market in Poland is undergoing a rapid transition as consumers shift from notebook to tablet purchases. The latest data from IT distributor Action showed a 27% y-o-y decline in PC shipments to Q213 - a steeper drop than even that experienced in Western Europe - with sales shifting towards cheaper tablets.
BMI expects sales of tablets to drive growth in unit terms, but with consumers increasingly opting for sub- PLN600 devices from Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) instead of premium devices such as Apple's iPad, the value of the market will now increase much more slowly. The sub-PLN600 tablet category is now dominating the Polish market, primarily benefiting Chinese OEMs, with devices being sold via major outlets such as Biedronka and Carrefour.
Another area of rapid development is the cloud computing market where international and local vendors are investing to increase capacity and develop new products in 2013. Leading global players such as HP and IBM are competing against local providers such as Comarch and telecoms operators such as Orange Poland. There is a large growth opportunity for cloud computing and outsourcing services as enterprises and government look at cost-cutting measures and increasing flexibility via their IT investments. Poland could also potentially become a regional cloud computing hub if European legislation is passed that harmonises data privacy and security regulation across the EU.