Martin calls on public sector to buy Irish software

19 May 2006

Ireland’s public sector should try to use more technology that has been developed by the indigenous software industry, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheal Martin TD has said.

Speaking at yesterday’s annual conference for the Irish Software Association (ISA), the Minister alluded to the fact that many Irish software companies score significant successes overseas, gaining credibility in the process, but some have trouble cracking the local public sector market, which in recent years has been one of the largest segments for IT spending in this country.

“At home we have a bit of work to do in convincing our own public sector of the quality that the Irish software industry has to offer,” he said. In the state sector, procurement buyers can sometimes have a tendency to “go for the conservative choice” by picking a well known multinational supplier instead. “We have to get over that psychological hurdle that some of our people have,” the Minister added.

He pointed out that recent trade missions with indigenous firms proved the Irish software industry “does have solutions to offer”.

Michele Quinn, director with the ISA, echoed the Minister’s sentiments in a statement issued for the conference. She said that the public sector could do more to give opportunities to companies with innovative technologies that could meet the IT needs of the sector.

In addition to delivering greater value for money to the Government and the taxpayer, this work could boost the reputations of the companies. Quinn said that the software industry would welcome the opportunity to work in a forum with Government which would create a better mutual understanding of the Government’s IT requirements and the software industry’s capabilities.

The ISA also said it believes that the Irish indigenous software industry has the capacity to grow from employing 16,000 people currently to employing 50,000 by 2010, delivering annual revenues of €7.5bn to the economy.

By Gordon Smith