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Shifting to Russian software is not so easy for Russian state companies

But the Russian government undertakes decisive step to make shifting from foreign to Russian software in Russian state companies completed in short term. One of such step has made first vice-premier and finance minister Anton Siluanov. He has singed directive prescribing Russian companies with state capital to complete shifting to Russian software in 2022 year. At least half of software, exploited by such companies, must be of Russian origin.

Russian companies, almost monopolies in Russia, such as Aeroflot, Sheremetievo airport, RosNeft, First channel, Gazprom, Russian railways, Rosnano, VTB and other major companies from the special list, drafted and approved by Russian government in 2003, must comply with new directive. Following two months from the signing of directive these companies have to adopt the plan of measures aiming to shift to Russian software in their day-to-day business activity including the source and volume of funding and after that each quarter report to Russian ministry of communication how this implementation of directive goes.

Russian companies from the list have to coordinate their plan of measures with special entity specializing on import substitution. The plan should be drafted for the period of 2018-2021 and refer the person, responsible for its implementation and execution, the “to do” list and key performance indicators. If the company has subsidiaries with more than 50% of capital, these subsidiaries must do the same. Russian ministry of communication is the authority supervising implementation of the directive by the companies from the list.

The import substitution concerns any software the companies exploit. It can be office software, antiviruses, software for servers etc. The companies must substitute at least 50% of all their foreign software they use and can choose from the special registry of Russian software. The companies from the list claim they already implement substitution of software step by step. It requires substantial funding, time and professional involvement.

The reason why the Russian government has signed new directive is simple – Russian companies don’t hurry up to migrate to Russian software. The Russian authorities have taken the course on substitution of import for software in 2015, but the Russian companies find means to circumvent direction on new course and still buy licenses on foreign computer programs. Russian major companies still depend in large scale from the foreign software and shifting to Russian software products would be not so easy. The problem is also in compatibility with and interaction between different software the company use.