Romania - Information Technology/Cybersecurity Romania - Information Technology/Cybe
OverviewRomania’s IT market is one of the fastest growing markets in Central and Eastern Europe. The IT market is forecasted to grow at 3.1% over 2017-2021 to a value of RON 9.9 billion ($2.47 billion) in 2021.
Cybersecurity is a key component of the ICT sector in Romania. According to the National Strategy on Digital Agenda for Romania 2020 (ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/country-information-romania), fully implementing the strategic vision of the ICT will require a total investment of around €2.4 billion ($2.64 billion). The National Strategy for the Digital Agenda defines four areas for action. Notably, the first aims to increase efficiency and reduce costs in the public sector by investing in e-Government, Interoperability, Security Cybernetics, Cloud Computing, and Social Media.
Software and IT Services in Romania
The Romanian market of software in IT services has been growing substantially at a high rate and is likely to become the most important contributor to the local GDP in the medium to long run.
Research and Development
Romania has had an important tradition in research, development, and innovation in the technical field. The technical expertise and lower labor costs of engineers have helped attract interesting and more significant projects towards the local industry. Industry clusters can be found in major university cities: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Timisoara, Craiova, and Brasov.
The Software and IT Services market is worth around 5 billion euros ($5.5bn) and is estimated to grow by around 15% each year until 2021. The structure of the domestic market is:
- Major buyers: Industry (39%), finance (20%), services and consumers (16%)
- Most important growth rates: finance (26%), services and consumers, telecom, industry, retail
- Services 64% vs. Product 36%
Selling through an established local Romanian channel partner is the lowest risk market entry strategy for most U.S. manufacturers. However, when selling to Romanian government departments, it may be necessary to establish a direct business presence in Romania, especially when competing for projects related to national security. The cooperation with ANSSI (www.anssi.ro), the most important local association in cybersecurity, offer U.S. companies interested in the Romanian market the best approach in finding partners, information about the market, and business opportunities with the public sector.
Special incentives for expenses related to research and development activities
Companies can benefit from an additional deduction of 50% from the eligible expenses for research and development. Moreover, accelerated depreciation may be applied for devices and equipment used in research and development activity. For large investments, state aid schemes or individual aid may be available.
Laws, rules, and regulations on the use of Internet
Romania has laws on electronic commerce, online copyrights, electronic signature, electronic payment, online advertising, the protection of personal data, cybercrime, internet pornography, and electronic communications. The Ministry for Information Society also developed some draft laws for minimum security conditions of digital systems for the Public Administration and national electronic records.
Income tax exemption for the IT employees providing software development activities
Romania doesn't tax the incomes of IT employees providing software development activities; Thus, Romania is one the most competitive markets for outsourcing with an average labor cost of $1,123 for a net salary of $720.
Leading Sub-SectorsThere are important opportunities for expertise, products, and services, addressing three fundamental pillars:
- Incident response and disaster recovery
- Software reporting, forensic tools, and security information team
- Use of certified software products and technologies, under the interoperability umbrella
- Validation of security environment
- Emergency response team working with private/public sector teams, shared intelligence
- Research on cyber warfare
- Exchanging information, forums, and communities
As of 2017, The Romanain Education Minsitry has introduced coding (with some cybersecurity concepts) as a mandatory discipline for all K5-K8 children in all accredited schools. Efforts are currently being made in order to expand the program for all K1-K12. There are currently about 2,500 students trained in the areas of coding and cybersecurity, and this number is increasing. The process can be monitored online at
OpportunitiesThe biggest need for funding and cybersecurity protection programs is within the Government and its departments.
The health sector could become an important buyer of cybersecurity services due to the large volumes of personal data that are managed by the health system. Large telemedicine projects are currently under discussion and they should have an important cybersecurity component. However, certain steps need to be taken in order to implement telemedicine projects. The most important part is to introduce medical data representation standards(such as HL7).
Opportunities also exist in the private sector to supply organizations of all sizes from SMEs to large corporations. Currently, enterprise application is noticeably below the EU-28 average. Thus, there is high potential for companies to target enterprises by offering low cost solutions. The most substantial opportunities can be found in organizations for which IT security is critical:
- Financial, banking, and insurance sectors
- Critical infrastructure networks (energy and utilities)
- Telecommunications (Telco)
- Utilities and Energy Transport