Big data country: Ireland among top European locations for investment

16 Nov 2016245 Shares

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German business leaders in particular rate Ireland highly in terms of data protection regulation. Image: Potstock/Shutterstock

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Ireland is punching above its weight in the big data stakes, as 96pc of investors surveyed by Forbes and William Fry view Ireland as a favourable investment location.

Insights from the Forbes study – a survey of 200 global senior executives including CEOs, CFOs and CIOs – found that 75pc believe physical facilities are the future of data-driven investment in Europe, and 96pc view Ireland as a favourable investment location.

Ireland ranked second for EU data-driven investment – behind the UK but in front of Germany.

‘We have an excellent track record in attracting leading businesses to Ireland, with good infrastructure, excellent tech-savvy talent and ease of doing business’
– DAVID CULLEN

As over half of the organisations surveyed have annual sales between $1bn and $4.9bn, William Fry’s head of technology David Cullen said this is a huge opportunity for Ireland, to capitalise on big data and position itself as the jurisdiction of choice in Europe.

“Despite our relative size, Ireland is highly regarded internationally,” Cullen said. “Our report found that 96pc of respondents had a favourable view of Ireland as a location for data-related investment.

“Within Europe, only the UK was marginally ahead and Ireland’s attractiveness may rise further, due to Brexit and the importance of ongoing access to the EU market.”

Data is the new tax

In the study, 82pc rated Ireland’s regulatory regime as good to excellent.

Significantly Germany, Europe’s most discerning observer, viewed Ireland as an excellent jurisdiction – giving us an 86pc good to excellent rating in data-regulated regulatory climate and 86pc in data privacy regulatory regime.

Cullen said that this rating by Germany rubber-stamps Ireland’s credentials in leading the big data revolution.

“We see examples of this in the location of data centres in Ireland, by leading multinationals and the location in Ireland of the HQ for Europe across multiple business sectors, technology, financial services and life sciences.

“We have an excellent track record in attracting leading businesses to Ireland, with good infrastructure, excellent tech-savvy talent and ease of doing business. 82pc of our respondents rated Ireland’s data-related regulatory regime as good to excellent.

“This figure rose to 86pc among German organisations surveyed, which speaks volumes as Germany is often considered to have one of the more challenging regimes in the whole of the EU in terms of data-protection enforcement,” Cullen said.

In a big data country: Ireland ranks top European location for investment

Image: Forbes Insights/William Fry

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com