Since its inception at the start of the 1990s, the Russian information technologies (IT) market has been consistently growing at a swift rate, gaining ever greater credence on the domestic scene and in the world. The exponential growth of the IT industry is critical to Russia, helping the Russian economy to be weaned off its dependence on hydrocarbons.
Right up to the crisis of 2008–2009, the IT market volume in Russia had been growing at an annual rate of 15–20%, which far exceeded the global average. Today, growth has slowed. According to the Russian Ministry for IT and Communications, in 2010 the volume of the IT market in Russia grew by 14% and amounted to 565.8 billion rubles (The Ministry for Economic Development, while agreeing with the absolute figure, considers that the inflation-adjusted growth was only 3.7%). According to the ministry’s optimistic forecasts, the growth of the IT market should amount to 14.6% in 2011, and 15.8% in 2012. The Ministry for IT and Communications predicts that for 2013 the volume of the IT market will be equal to 887 billion rubles.
Of the overall Russian IT market hardware contributes 50–55%, software 20–25%, and IT services 20–30%. According to Gartner, in 2010 11 million PCs were sold. Most of these (67.8%) were mobile units. According to the Russian Ministry for IT and Communications, PC ownership in the country has reached approximately 62 million units, of which 3/4 have an Internet connection. The number of Internet users increased to 47% of the population.
The dynamic advances of Russia’s information technologies industry demanded the establishment of an organization that would act as advocate for the industry’s interests. In the fall of 2001, leading IT-companies agreed to establish a non-profit Information & Computer Technologies Industry Association (“APKIT”).
In terms of its membership, APKIT is the most representative noncommercial association in the Russian IT Industry. Association members have earned acclaim as leading Russian and international businesses, distributors, system integrators, vendors and developers. By many accounts, APKIT members control up to 70% of the official market.
Members of APKIT are the largest domestic (1C, ABBYY, CROC, Borlas, Konsultant Plus, Kaspersky Lab, Cheeks, Merlion, NKK, Yandex, IBS, etc.) and Transnational companies (Apple, Fujitsu, Cisco, IBM, Panasonic, Siemens, Google, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, etc.) in the field of software development, distribution, system integration, services, computers and equipment production; and also niche associations (Association of information security of AZI, Association of producers of light-emitting diodes and systems on their basis APSS, Non-profit partnership of suppliers of software products of NP PPP, ARPP "Domestic Software", RUSSOFT Association, Confidential Platform Association, an IT cluster of Siberia).
APKIT represents Russia in the world alliance of the national IT associations WITSA, cooperates with legislative authorities (The State Duma and the Federation Council of Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation) and the executive authorities, including Ministry of digital development, communication and mass communication, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Customs Service, Federal Antimonopoly Service, Federal Security Service, etc. APKIT association (as SPK-IT) is responsible for the system of professional qualifications in IT industry in National council on professional qualifications under the President of the Russian Federation.
Uniting the industry elite, APKIT forms a system of values, improves mechanisms of interaction within the industry and works to build an open, civilized market as a safeguard of IT business stability.
The Association concentrates efforts of individual companies into consolidated opinion of the branch through negotiations with public authorities. The Association defends the interests of the IT branch and favors the expansion of the market. This is a collaborative effort with the government authorities and a mechanism for interaction within the IT. It`s a coordinated action aimed to expand and develop IT market.
There are also working groups, functioning for the solution of wide range of questions.