Information Technology in Armenia
Armenia is one of the leading information technology nations among the neighboring CIS and Middle East countries. This potential was formed when Soviet Armenia has become a key science, R&D, and high-tech manufacturing location of the former USSR. At the peak of its growth in 1987, science and technology sector in Armenia employed, according to various estimates, around 100,000 specialists. The collapse of the Soviet Union, regional conflicts, and devastating earthquake in the north of the country brought enormous economic hardships to Armenia. The consequences for the high-tech sector were significant: the majority of science and R&D institutions had to curtail or shut down operations leaving thousands of people jobless...
Independence of 1991 created completely new opportunities for the industry and particularly for entrepreneurs and IT professionals. Focus of the IT industry shifted from major manufacturing operations to the software and services segment, which has witnessed substantial growth during the last 10 years. Today, Armenian IT industry is one of the most dynamic and promising sectors of the economy. Past successes, qualified professionals, and Armenian entrepreneurial spirit position the industry to be successful in the years to come.
History of Armenia’s technology sector
There are two principal stages in the development of Armenia’s technology sector: period under the Soviet rule and post-Soviet independent Armenia. During the first stage, Armenia was a major center for R&D and production in the areas of computer science and electronics. This potential has been created back in the 1950s when several major R&D and semiconductor manufacturing plants were established. These institutions operated for the Soviet Government and concentrated primarily on medium and large scale industrial and defense applications. Many organizations had in-house software development departments focusing on automation of accounting and other organizational functions. During the second stage, tech sector concentrated on outsourcing and offshore software development. During this period, potential of IT industry has been recognized by a larger number of investors, policy makers, and professionals. Armenia has become a location of choice for several multinational companies to outsource R&D, operations, and software development. Armenian Government declared support of the ICT sector as a key priority for its economic development policy.
Information source: The Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF)