Ireland could benefit potential for thousands of new jobs and up to €27 billion to the economy by 2020 by taking the lead in the EU’s digital single market.
According to research on from Boston Consulting Group, such a move could yield between 140,000 and 190,000 jobs in the next four years in Ireland.
The country needs to embrace digitisation to maintain global competitiveness, particularly in light of the UK’s decision to exit the European Union, BCG said. The report identifies Ireland as a potential “digital frontrunner”, a country that driven by internet-related activities and the ICT sector, with a small population, export dependent and embracing innovation.
The report, which was commissioned by Google, put Ireland in the same category as Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
According to BCG’s Niclas Colliander, Ireland’s e-GDP as a share of total GDP is 12 per cent, excluding multinational corporations, higher than comparable countries.
The report says small and medium sized firms will play a key role in creating the digital economic growthbut expresses concern that only 30 per cent of Irish SMEs are offering their services online, with smaller firms falling behind in using digital tools for sales, production, operations and back office.
“The Government needs to prioritise the right things and given the importance of Ireland’s SMEs there needs to be a strong focus on initiatives to drive the SME transition to digital and mobile-first,” states Mr Colliander.