Only 20% of Irish ICT firms view the availability of labour to be good or very good at this time, according to a new report published yesterday by Enterprise Ireland in conjunction with Investec.
The latest Export Market Watch is the second in a series of reports examining Ireland’s major export markets and the outlook for exchange rates. Yesterday’s report has a special emphasis on how these are directly impacting the Irish software sector and aims to support companies with global ambition who are looking to scale their business to international markets, in the face of challenges such as Brexit.
A struggle to attract talent is the main contributor to a significant climb in sectoral wages, according to Investec, which outlines wage increases of 11% in the software sector; three times the rate of growth in labour earnings across the wider economy since the recession. In contrast to the issue of the availability and cost of labour, the availability of capital is viewed positively among firms in the sector with 80% rating it as satisfactory to very good.
Further findings of the report reveal that one-third (33%) of companies in the software sector have taken steps to prepare for Brexit. Most companies view the UK, US and Eurozone as offering the best near-to-medium term growth opportunities and the majority of respondents don’t believe that other markets will challenge the dominance of the ‘big three’ in the short-term.
In terms of long-term export trends, Enterprise Ireland market advisors believe the US will remain significant, due to innovation in areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI) which many ICT clients view as the technology disruptor that will have the most significant impact on their business.
Commenting on the research, John MacNamara, Manager, Digital Technologies said, "There is a growth phase currently being experienced by software firms mainly due to the ubiquitous nature of developing technology and the adaptable nature of Irish businesses in terms of technological trends. Companies across all sectors are becoming increasingly receptive to embracing technological change, placing demand on the software sector. What this report is telling us is that with issues attracting and maintaining top talent, demand versus supply of resources is a serious concern to many Irish ICT firms."