Future of Irish Internet Association to be revealed

8 Mar 2017

Image: Lorenzo Sala/Shutterstock

A new vision and a new mission for the Irish Internet Association.

After getting a temporary reprieve from being wound down, the future of the Irish Internet Association (IIA) will be outlined by its chairperson, Cathy McGovern, at an event on 21 March at the Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin. Alex Gogan is serving as interim CEO until a new CEO is appointed later in the year.

This follows the publication of the IIA Strategic Review financed by the IEDR.

‘The IIA is a not-for-profit trade organisation and the board is working on a voluntary basis to revitalise the IIA for the benefit of members’

The review found that there is considerable goodwill for the organisation but a “sweet spot” still needs to be identified.

Stakeholders are in agreement that “accelerating Irish online sales” should be the focus for the IIA.

Urgent priorities include the finalisation of a strategic plan and the creation of a three-year financial model.

Potential funding areas include training and products such as MyEcomKit, an e-commerce resource tool for SMEs.

The plan envisages the IIA reducing its deficit and costs, and growing revenues to €230,200 per annum by 2019.

Narrow reprieve

At the IIA AGM in November, it was almost lights out for the organisation after it emerged that it had run out of money, and its board was about to walk.

The IIA had hit a financial crossroads as membership dwindled, from a peak of 340 members down to 115 paying members, with a deficit of €23,000 at the end of 2015.

However, after outstanding payments from sponsors were gathered, the organisation was in credit to the sum of €3,597.

Despite the sombre mood, grassroots members from around Ireland emphasised that the work of the IIA was far from finished, stiffening everyone’s resolve. IEDR chief executive David Curtin also committed €10,000 to finance a strategy consultation.

A vote was taken to reduce the size of the board from eight down to three, and the IEDR and Enterprise Ireland vowed to take an active interest in the project.

A new future for the IIA

McGovern has invited members and friends of the IIA to attend a meeting on 21 March, where they will discuss the strategic review and come up with a vision for the future of the organisation.

As well as introducing the new board members, the event will outline key initiatives and events for 2017.

“The IIA is a not-for-profit trade organisation and the board is working on a voluntary basis to revitalise the IIA for the benefit of members,” McGovern said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years