5G and AI top list of Irish businesses’ tech spend

Irish enterprises expect to invest an average of €564,000 in digital transformation with AI and 5G at the top of the wish list.

A survey of 119 IT decision makers across the island of Ireland has revealed how the majority (86pc) plan to move more applications and workloads to the cloud, as work-from-home models are likely to become more permanent.

The full results and analysis are available as part of a new report from Sidero called 2021 Insights: The Future of Work is Agile’.

“We have seen an unprecedented acceleration in the race to digital transformation in the past year”

Sidero’s report reveals how Irish enterprises expect to spend an average of €564,000 on cloud and digital services, technologies and investments in 2021.

Transformation in motion

The new research reveals that 46pc of IT leaders believe their digital transformation strategy is just adequate or a work in progress, while only 17pc feel their organisation’s strategy is enabling business success.

61pc of businesses in Ireland plan to invest and increase usage in digital transformation technologies this year. 46pc are seeking to increase automation, while the same number will look to invest in the application of 5G capabilities and technologies. A third plan to invest in both artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The survey also found that organisations expect to increase cloud usage by one-third in 2021, and just over half (52pc) plan to increase their usage of cloud-native applications.

However, there are perceived obstacles to increased cloud adoption. 60pc of businesses are concerned about security, 40pc cite a lack of in-house digital skills as a barrier, and 31pc have compliancy and regulatory concerns.

More than a third (35pc) of IT decision makers admitted that their current cloud strategy is outdated, or they have no strategy at all.

“We have seen an unprecedented acceleration in the race to digital transformation in the past year,” said Carmel Owens, CEO of Sidero.

“Almost overnight, businesses of all sizes had to innovate and adapt to a new way of working, and the shift to remote work-models and in turn, increased usage of cloud-based services, is set to ramp up in earnest this year.

“As with any fundamental change, there are barriers to digital innovation on this scale, with business leaders concerned about security, regulation, and the ever-present IT skills gap in their organisations.

“In order to keep up with the rate of change, Irish businesses must continue to innovate and invest in their digital futures. It’s clear from our findings that the majority of organisations in Ireland are not entirely satisfied with their cloud and digital transformation strategies, but it’s encouraging to see that there’s an appetite there to address this.”

Main image at top: Carmel Owens, CEO of Sidero

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 27 April 2021