Irish IT industry could scale five times its current size – it@cork chairman

29 Jan 2013

Denis Collins, chairman, it@cork/European Tech Cluster

Ireland’s IT industry hasn’t reached its full potential and could yet grow to five times its size, the chairman of it@cork Denis Collins says.

Collins, whose organisation counts 300 firms as members, said a number of key steps would ensure the industry reaches its full potential.

“The IT Industry could be a minimum five times more that it is now by Horizon 2020,” Collins said.

“It can also contribute an additional two to one or three to one spin-off jobs in top of this. As chairman of over 300 members, which represents €300bn globally and over €1bn in Ireland, the IT industry is positioned as a leading industry but we haven’t stretched to its full potential,” he said.

Collins outlined a number of steps his organisation believes will kickstart the growth needed.

Time to act as one

He called for the creation of an IT visa with a bundled approach to recruitment which should include tax incentives, continued IT conversion courses for the indigenous population and partnership with the IT industry at primary, secondary and third level.

Collins cited it@cork’s Adopt a School programme, which he believes if it is more broadly adopted could prepare children for the future.

In terms of infrastructure, as well as direct flight routes to key commercial destinations in the US, Collins said the last mile broadband problem needs to be addressed, as well as ensuring FDI-standard turnkey data centre infrastructure is available to indigenous companies.

Collins also called for an ‘Act as One’ partnership strategy between industry, Government, the public sector and academia in terms of policy decisions and leveraging the diaspora.

Collins said that in order for Ireland to be seen as a relevant global IT cluster, it is imperative that effective branding is put in place to communicate the message globally.

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