Over half of Irish companies are planning further investment in technology in 2008.
A survey conducted by KPMG and the Sunday Times found that 57pc of firms plan to invest in technology, which is good news for technology suppliers considering the economy is in the midst of a slowdown.
“What is encouraging here is that technology would traditionally be considered an area of discretionary spending and if Irish companies were facing a downturn or a period of uncertainty one wouldn’t expect investment in this area,” said Paul Toner, partner in KPMG’s Business Advisory Services department. “Technology investment tends to occur in cycles, and companies will buy new versions of software systems when they need to be bought.”
The survey asked 300 companies in Ireland, ranging from small and medium businesses to large companies employing 100 or more people, what area presented the greatest potential opportunity for their business and 57pc cited technology as the area where increased investment is planned.
“The recent period of growth has caused many businesses to outgrow their technology, which has a direct impact on a company’s cost base and the effectiveness of how they do business. Technology that does not fully support a company’s business model or business volumes will result in an increased cost of doing business, impact customer service and as a result, competitiveness,” remarked Toner.
Some 54pc of respondents believed that 2008 would be a positive year for their business. The survey also suggested that key areas of opportunity for business in Ireland in 2008 include growth from within existing customer bases (41pc) and cost reduction measures (29pc).
“Technology can help people to achieve both these goals,” Toner added. “Automation will help to reduce outgoings and the resulting cost competitiveness combined with increased customer service and up to date, accurate information will support the opportunity to sell more to existing customers.”
By Niall Byrne