The importance of software for irish industry

Irish industry

Like many people in the Irish Software sector, I recently read through the Irish Software Landscape Study. My curiosity was not only due to drastic media headlines such as ‘Thousands of Irish software jobs could be forced overseas’ but it’s also great to get a well-researched report on what’s happening with software in Ireland.

Software jobs

On the scary media headlines, I do think the report effectively highlights areas where Irish policy makers can encourage more local jobs in the software sector such as via better tax and investment incentives. The headlines also work… by simply pointing out how much opportunity there is for employment to Irish people who develop and grow their software skills, let us hope the good word will spread, especially to recent graduates.

And to anyone considering working in the software sector, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector is as much about organisational and communication skills, as it is technical and programming knowledge. Also the importance of high quality business analysis, sales and marketing skills and design flare cannot be underestimated.

Basically there’s lots to do in software and a good software product often requires a whole bunch of people with different skills to build and manage it!

Innovation outside of the software sector

The sentence that gripped me in this report was

“Software skills and innovation matter to a range of sectors not just traditional software product/service firms.”

I think this is a massively important statement for Irish industry and worth spending some time thinking about. Many of the newest tech jobs being announced come from companies not traditionally considered as software companies.

On a global level we see it in jobs announcements from car manufacturers and here in Ireland, sectors like aviation and pharmaceuticals are beefing up their digital capabilities. ‘Innovation is about finding a better way of doing something’- according to wikipedia.

I can say with some assuredness, well-planned software often leads a better way of doing things, and this is especially true when the requirement for a better way comes from an established business. What is more, software systems have become increasingly more affordable to build, with open-source software, frameworks and third-party tools meaning that systems don’t have to be built from scratch.

From customer-facing and B2B eCommerce and embedded software, to productivity enhancing mobile apps, to faster, more connected enterprise resource planning systems, software systems can be planned, budgeted and executed to ensure they deliver innovation within the business and a return on investment.

It is a great time for Irish Industry to be innovative and software has become an affordable, low risk way to innovate.

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