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Irish tech industry to grow 20% in 2018, in turn helping drive UK digital tech ambition


The Irish tech industry is forecast to grow more than 20% in 2018, with revenues across indigenous Irish IT services and digital sector expected to reach 3.5bn euros.

Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government agency is aiming to help harness the country’s entrepreneurial spirit and enable Irish digital technology businesses to scale and grow in the UK.

Ireland is one of the major tech capitals in the world with nine of the top ten US technology companies including Google and Apple operating there. With the UK an important trading partner for digitally-intensive sectors globally, the collaboration of the countries is beneficial for both economies.

In addition to Dublin’s Silicon Docks area, there are large clusters of tech activity in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, as well as:

o Apple has been based in Cork since 1980 and has recently invested €850m in a new data centre in Galway;
o Amazon, Etsy, Zalando, Groupon, PayPal, AirBnB and Uber are all based in Ireland, along with IT household names including Siemens, HP, Intel, Dell, Microsoft and Symantec;
o Representing the gaming sphere, includes EA, PopCap, Riot Games and Zynga;
o Key Cloud Service pioneers include Adobe, Dropbox, Salesforce and SAP, also have centres in Dublin and Galway.

Dublin is a hotbed of tech giants (including Google) and is home to a wealth of startup activity – securing a ranking of 8th in the Digital City Index for ‘startup readiness’ in Europe. Irish companies have a competitive advantage as world-class leaders in digital technology with Enterprise Ireland the third largest seed investor in Europe, with Ireland having access to more venture funding than any other country in Europe. 

The Irish economy is growing three times faster than any other European country, with Irish SMEs recently noted the most innovative in Europe. Home-grown Irish companies span a wide range of fields, from mobile payment tech, game design and cloud computing solutions to embedded tech, the Internet of Things and data security. Dublin is listed as the world’s traveltech capital, according to Enterprise Ireland; building a reputation as Europe’s centre for B2B SaaS and a growing hotspot for fintech and payments.

The Irish digital technologies sector has grown an average 12% YOY since 2013, predicting to be worth 44bn euros by 2020. 

Irish companies export to 100+ countries globally, but the UK remains its most dynamic and important trading partner. Some 70% of Enterprise Ireland startup client companies specialise in digital tech and account for 26% of Irish exports. Technology innovation and similar market demands are among the reasons UK companies opt for Irish partners across digital technology contracts and projects.

Ireland/UK collaboration within the digital technology eco-system is beneficial for the retention and attraction of talent in both economies; attracting an accelerating number of global tech giants to locate/relocate. About 80,000 top tech professionals work in tech throughout Ireland and predicted to reach 100,000 by the end of 2018.

At present, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the tech industry are collaborating on a Tech/Life Ireland initiative, strengthening Ireland as a top destination to pursue a career in technology. 

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