Quick State Reaction Needed for Software Industry to Achieve Full Potential in B&H
The software industry, along with telecommunications, makes up the information – communication technologies sector, which is among the most successful and most profitable industries. We have the continuous development of this sector in B&H to thank for the opportunity for a small country like ours to emerge on the world map next to the greatest economically developed countries. However, a lack of support from the state in adopting development measures needed for this potent branch to continue to grow, has resulted in its progress being set back.
Unregulated legislation, an unfit education system, a lack of education of the youth on the potential of the software industry – these are only some of the problems that prevent our country from standing shoulder to shoulder with the greatest global economic giants.
The first set of strategic documents on behalf of the state on the topic of ICT sector development and promotion, including the software industry in B&H, were adopted in 2004. Most of the activities planned in these documents – including the Information Society Development Policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Strategy for Information Society Development (which was supposed to be the basis for the implementation of incentive measures), and the Action Plan for the Information Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina – have been lacking and, for the most part, have not been implemented. In the following decade, there was not any progress regarding drafting and adoption of measures that would contribute to support for the software industry in B&H. Only in 2014 was a new draft of the Information Society Development Policy created.
The positive news is that the Ministry of Transport and Communications heard out the proposals of B&H’s software industry, so this Policy included specific measures to support the software industry’s development, although it is still not clear when the Council of Ministers will adopt the policy. Despite the lack of implementation of the previous strategy and policy, the enthusiasm of BIT Alliance’s experts, who have the same goal, provides the software industry with a driving force status in the economic development of B&H. However, they have pointed out that the software industry’s further progress depends on whether or not the state will support the adoption and implementation of key development strategies regarding this sector.
“Together, we are working on creating an environment in which the potential of the software industry will be recognized, as well as on the education of valuable personnel. However, it is necessary to advocate for the adoption of the strategy for the development of the software industry at the state level. The strategy would include precise measures and visible involvement of relevant institutions; it would provide an incentive for all levels of government to develop strategies within their jurisdiction for the promotion of the software industry. In this way, the business operations of companies would be eased, the education system improved, and youth employment in this sector encouraged,” – stated Bit Alliance President, Haris Memić.
A positive example is Sarajevo Canton’s move – it has included elements regarding support to the software industry in its development strategy (for 2017-2020), which was adopted in September 2016. If all government levels took a step towards the implementation of relevant measures, together we would break down the wall that is slowing down the promotion and development of the software industry in B&H.
The First Conference on the Topic of the Potential of the Software Industry in B&H
With the aim of presenting and promoting the potential of the domestic software industry, the Ministry of Communications and Transport, in cooperation with BIT Alliance, is organizing the first conference on the topic of the potential of the software industry in B&H. The conference will be held on April 25th, 2017 in the Parliament of B&H’s building. Conference participants and guests will include representatives from the B&H software industry, all levels of state in B&H, international institutions and organizations in B&H, as well as educational institutions and members of the non-governmental sectors.