IT still strong focus for Irish firms in 2010

16 Feb 2010

IT remains an important part of Irish business, with 47pc of companies surveyed saying they will be maintaining their current levels of IT staff over the next 12 months, the new survey released by the Irish Computer Society suggests.

However, despite the importance of IT to the average Irish company, the effects of the economic downturn mean that 51pc of companies say that compared with 2009 their IT budgets and spending will have to be reduced, with 42pc of those surveyed planning to make reductions through contractor salaries.

The figures show that the majority of Irish companies surveyed have allocated less than 10pc of their overall annual budget to IT projects and maintenance, while nearly one-third kept this budget to €100,00 or lower.

Not all Irish companies have this IT spend, it was shown: 25pc of ICS survey respondents had an IT budget of more than €1 million in 2009 while 15pc of those were more than €3 million.

Areas of potential IT funding increase

Overall trends in cloud computing, security and social networking point to an increase in funding in these areas for 2010 while a bigger spend is expected in the areas of data storage, network infrastructure and server hardware, plus up-skilling was also an area of interest.

Fifty-five per cent of those surveyed said that keeping IT skills current was important and were interested in keeping staff up to date through continued learning, including events organised by the ICS.Those surveyed understand the need to keep their skills current and to learn new skills, with 55pc interested in up-skilling and continued learning through events organised by the ICS.   

Overall, the IT sector remains positive, with 89pc of the 200 senior Irish IT managers and executives who completed the questionnaire saying they are happy with their profession and adding they would recommend a career in IT to a friend.

“We acknowledge and commend the fact that so many Irish companies continue to remember the importance of IT through these tough times. IT development is essential to the success of the smart economy,” said Jim Friars, CEO of Irish Computer Society.

“About a third of ICS members will be investigating cloud technology in 2010, in its various forms – platform, infrastructure and software as a service. The smart economy has the potential to create up to 25,000 new jobs – as well as enabling entrepreneurs to set up world-class businesses in any part of Ireland. This is something we must be ready for.”

By Marie Boran

Photo: Most (89pc) senior Irish IT managers and executives would recommend a career in IT, a survey released by the Irish Computer Society shows