This week’s interviewee is PJ Dwyer (pictured), new general manager at Dell Ireland.
Can you give me a snapshot of Dell’s business in Ireland today?
The division I head is responsible for all relationships between Dell and the business world, from small and medium-sized businesses to schools and right up to the largest semi-state body North and South.
What share of the Irish market does Dell have at this point?
According to the last set of IDC figures we have 40pc share of the Irish business market across the three main hardware form factors: desktops, laptops and servers. We estimate that our share of the market is similar in the home and public market.
Where would Ireland sit in the main hardware trends Dell sees?
We wouldn’t be the most advanced economy in the world but we would be in the top tier. The UK and the US would be ahead of Ireland in terms of the growth of laptops over desktops but our mobile penetration is above 100pc and we’re in the top tier of countries on that front.
Returning to Ireland after heading up Dell in Poland, what changes have you noticed in the IT world?
I’ve been out of Ireland for more than two years and noticed that a lot more services are online. Revenue.ie has done a great job and the Local Government Computer Services Board has driven a lot of good practices across government.
I believe there’s scope to do a lot more and get more services online.
In terms of the nation’s priorities as regards infrastructure investment, what areas concern you most?
One of the areas that needs more focus and investment is education. There has been very little investment in computers in schools in this country compared with elsewhere.
That’s why I was delighted to hear that €252m is being invested in computers for schools under the National Development Plan. Ireland had really fallen far behind in the computers for schools issue internationally.
It has been said that we are also far behind in the broadband stakes. Do you agree?
I do. I think it is important that we make the proliferation of broadband a priority across the country. It means people can work from home. There are examples of people living in the West of Ireland who are working as secretaries for someone in the US; they are working effectively as a knowledge worker.
Companies are finding more people want to work from home so fast internet access is vital.
PC penetration in Ireland is quite poor. As one of the biggest PC manufacturers in the world, how does Dell view this anomaly?
Ireland is hovering around the 60pc population mark for PCs, which isn’t bad. But the internet picture needs to improve greatly.
It’s all about education. If the internet becomes all-pervasive in schools it will drive usage in the home. Tax breaks are also important as they drove mass PC adoption in Scandinavian countries.
By John Kennedy