The tech sector in Ireland employs a total of 105,000 people across an array of sectors and career disciplines and is responsible for €72bn of Ireland’s exports – or 40pc of total exports – the Irish Software Association (ISA) said this morning.
The sector now includes the top 10 ‘born on the internet’ companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Amazon.
It also includes the top 3 global enterprise software companies, as well as four out of the top 5 IT services companies, not to mention nine out of the top 10 global software companies and the top 3 global security software companies.
The ISA said globally Ireland is ranked top of the league for availability of skilled labour and this is buoyed by the fact the country has one of Europe’s youngest populations, with 50pc of the population under 34 years of age.
According to the ISA, as well as a strong multinational presence, there is a scaling indigenous digital technology sector that employs more than 30,000 people with total sales of €2bn per annum.
ISA director Paul Sweetman said there is the opportunity to foster greater collaboration between the indigenous sector and the multinational sector to allow the tech community to be greater than the sum of its parts, enabling Ireland to become a true global technology hub.
“With over 18,000 jobs announced in the technology sector since 2010 and exports continuing to grow, the industry is thriving. The sector has the potential to deliver so much more. In order to realise this ambition, we have worked with our member companies to devise a blueprint strategy. This document sets out our vision for Ireland to retain and build upon its reputation as an attractive location for business.
“The report provides sets out the opportunities and trends for the industry, which if supported will attract further investment, as well as create growth and jobs. Given the breadth and depth of technology companies already established here, Ireland is uniquely placed to become a global technology hub.”
Looking at the future prospects for the tech scene in Ireland, the ISA recommended a number of objectives, including ensuring digital services are deployed in every SME in the land, that opportunities to draw down EU funding to support the creation of smart infrastructure and smart cities are exploited and that opportunities in big data exist for Ireland to become a central big data management and warehousing location in Europe.
The ISA also pointed out that the content and app development industry will be worth €300bn a year by 2020 and that opportunities around mobile devices, smart machines and the internet of things will increase.
“Ireland needs to ensure we have the necessary skill clusters and development courses to complement the existing international business models in the creative sector,” the ISA recommended in its report.
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