64% of Irish businesses are sceptical of the value of technology investment, according to new research from 451 Group and Digital Realty, despite technology holding the key to unlocking €9 billion in new revenue and cost savings.

Surveying Irish IT managers and CIOs in 100 small, medium and large businesses across the Republic of Ireland, the research found that Ireland is lagging behind the rest of the world for technology investment. While 40% of businesses across the globe have already embarked on ‘digital transformation’ projects that see them investing heavily in new technology across their businesses, 64% of Irish businesses say they are sceptical of new technology.

The most common worries for businesses investing in new technologies are security, named as the biggest issue for 41% of businesses, the rising cost of maintaining infrastructure (42%) and access to tech skills – identified by a third of respondents.

The responses come hot on the heels of Digital Realty’s Data Economy report, which revealed that, through investment in the right tools and training, Ireland’s data could be creating up to €19 billion for the Irish economy. Yet, despite projects such the Bank of Ireland’s €500 million investment to focus on digital banking and customer analytics, and Caterpillar’s use of sensors to predict and prevent breakdowns in its heavy machinery, Irish businesses are failing to extract nearly half, €9 billion, of that value.

Valerie Walsh, SVP Commercial & Portfolio Management, Digital Realty, comments:

“Across every sector, Irish businesses are more global in outlook and operation than ever before. That’s bringing opportunities that will only intensify as Brexit grows closer and Ireland further enhances its position as a key gateway to Europe. But to grab the opportunities, businesses need to operate globally and nimbly in every market. Technology will create that ability. If you don’t invest in tech, you won’t see the benefits of the global marketplace.”

Penny Jones, Research Director, 451 Group adds: “Irish enterprises find themselves in an interesting position today. Many are just starting out on their journey towards digital transformation. As they progress, however, they are finding they face some very real challenges to adoption, from access to skills to Brexit. As a result, a large number are expected to turn to the wide array of providers that offer services for help,” Penny Jones, Research Director for Multi-Tenant Data centre and Services EMEA says.

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