A new recovery is underway in Ireland
Every once in while I read the Sunday papers. Usually I flick through the stories about people and events that seem unrelated to me. Sometimes there’s something interesting to learn but mostly not. Today was different…
As I read through the Sunday Business Post, I realised that while there’s a lot of chaos and collapse still occurring as a result of the last two years of economics crisis… there’s also a lot of new and positive things starting to emerge…
Invesment in green technologies and renewable energy is really happening. Irish software firms are growing in number and influence. Business process outsourcing is continuing to grow. These sectors, vital to economic recovery, are also sectors close to my heart for the following reasons…
This is the only way for us to continue living the life we have grown accustomed to, with readily accessible electricity, heating and water. Sooner or later our current energy model of oil gas and coal will no longer be viable and the sooner we get moving on renewable sources the better.
My personal view is that nuclear energy is also a non-renewable energy source like oil, gas and coal since it’s waste product cannot be recycled or stored safely.
Software is a great enabler
We can accomplish so much more as individuals as a result of software. Since much of our work has shifted from land or resource based, agragrian and manufacturing economy to an ecomony driven by services. This means that skills such as communication and creativity and strength of mind are rewarded over and above physcial prowess or the ability to dominate others.
Software tools help us to communicate with people far from us and/or reach a wide audience of people. Software helps us to organize our time and resources more effectively by giving us somewhere to put and analyse information.
The fear with software is always that software technology will become too powerful for us to control. It seems to me that this reflects the design of the software. If you build something that is designed to be too complex or powerful for people to cope with, then it will be too much for people.
In the same way that nuclear weapons are too powerful for people because of the destruction they cause, so too might some software especially in the realms of artifical intelligence cross limits after which time it needs to be restricted. Ethics and values are important in making sure that these restrictions are imposed.
Business Process Outsourcing
This sounds complex and boring but it’s not. It means that more and more organisations are comfortable relying on other businesses to manage one or more of their business functions, such as accounting or even customer service.
To me this reflects a broader trend of openness, trust and reliance among organizations on one another. Rather than large elephant organisations which handle everything from Accounts payable to Catering for staff, more and more smaller organisations will emerge with each forming links with other organisations.
You do my accounts, I’ll market your services, this company will look after our design needs, and that company will manage our technology needs.
To me these three new industries are a sign that the Irish economy is developing in the right direction- towards cleaner, more sustainable energy, heat and water, towards more building software tools and services that help us to do more as individuals and be more creative, and towards increased reliance and trust of other organisations which allows all the organisations involved to grow stronger and better at what they do.