Irish businesses appreciate IT more than UK counterparts

5 Jul 2004

Some 58pc of senior Irish business managers appreciate the crucial relationship between the ability to bring innovative services and product to market and the implementation of new technology, compared with just 38pc of their English and 17pc of their Scottish counterparts, a new survey commissioned by Oracle has found.

The independent research, undertaken by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Oracle* which polled 50 companies in Ireland with 250 staff or more, found that 64pc of Irish companies conduct an annual review of their IT infrastructure compared to 55pc in England and 57pc in Scotland. Some 55pc of Irish managers reported that reviews are conducted internally while 41pc are undertaken by a combination of internal and external consultants.

The research also revealed that a quarter of Irish businesses view inability to change at a corporate level as the biggest threat to their business today. One in five Irish businesses view a lack of management vision and ability and a lack of access to new markets as the next biggest pressures on their business. The survey also showed that only 5pc of Irish respondents view inability of the workforce to innovate as a threat to business, compared to 9pc of English companies and 16pc of Scottish companies.

Irish companies responded differently to UK companies in relation to how they described their management style. Some 42pc of Irish companies believe their management style is ‘flexible and adaptive’, compared to 33pc of English companies and 37pc of Scottish companies. In addition, 29pc of Irish companies say they operate a ‘top-down’ model, compared to 37pc of English companies and 33pc of Scottish companies.

The managing director of Oracle Ireland, Nicky Sheridan (pictured), commented: “It’s certainly encouraging to hear that such a high number of Irish companies now recognise the impact that technology can have on their businesses. It’s indicative of how Irish businesses in recent years have recognised the value and return that technology can bring to their business growth.

“Of those who annually review the effectiveness of their IT systems, a huge majority (86pc) have made changes to their IT infrastructure as a result, proving that regular evaluation can ensure that IT systems are effectively responding to business needs. The way in which we do business is constantly changing and evolving; if our IT infrastructure is to adequately complement our business processes, it too may require some adaptations.

“It’s no surprise, given the crucial role IT plays in running a successful business, that a number of factors can impact on a company’s technology buying decisions. The research shows that across the UK and Ireland similar factors, such as vendor relationships, customer references, and corporate reputation, are rated as being the most important. Nearly 70pc of Irish companies view existing relationships with vendors as very important to their purchasing decisions, while almost half cite positive customer references as being influential,” Sheridan concluded.

By John Kennedy