Irish firms are investing in IT to boost their productivity

24 Jun 2010

The merger of IT Focus with TeamDBA has resulted in 15 new technology jobs and a new ICT services player called Trilogy. Edel Creely is the company’s managing director.

Technology has never been more critical to business, yet businesses are looking to cost-cut rather than invest. How do you see the market developing?

Most of the large IT vendors would see the Irish market as typically an SME market and generally our clients employ between 50 and 500 users. We all know that everybody’s been going through cost-cutting phases, but those who have continued to invest are investing primarily in boosting productivity.

That’s the key value we believe businesses need to embrace when it comes to IT investment, think of technology as a business enabler that will help you to grow, be more productive. Cost savings are important but technology is about more than that.

What kind of clever steps are firms taking to be productive with less people?

Centaur Fund Services, a fund management business that started up last year, didn’t need an in-house IT team and asked us to design a solution.

The result was a fully virtualised server and desktop system that does not require any management on their part.

IT is about delivering efficiencies to business – look at what email has done for businesses compared to how we operated 20 years ago. There are so many opportunities now to make businesses more efficient.

How are businesses coping with the proliferation of smartphones, laptops and very soon tablet computers?

Mobility will be a huge driver for business efficiency in the years ahead. Executives will expect to be able to access apps anywhere from any device. Virtualisation and cloud computing will be the technologies of choice in enabling businesses to cope with a more versatile, IT literate workforce.

Are businesses aware of the security headaches that mobile and cloud computing could create?

I think awareness of security has never been higher. People are asking the question of how secure devices and software are, the key is choosing the right set of solutions for the business.

Businesses are more clued in than they are given credit for. The key areas of IT investment going forward will be security, virtualisation and unified communications.

The recent volcano in Iceland and the grounding of aircraft suddenly brought video conferencing back into vogue. Will it soon be mainstream in business?

There has been a massive evolution in conferencing over the last 18 months.

Before the volcano people were already cutting back on their travel costs anyway and had already begun using alternative communications tools like conferencing.

Since you merged IT Focus with TeamDBA, you have rebranded as Trilogy. What are your plans for the growth of the business?

We are at 35 people and growing and plan to grow and expand the business with further jobs announcements over the next while.

We are looking at other options, too, such as partnerships and joint ventures. There’s a significant pipeline of negotiations ahead.

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