Our annual regional survey of Irish businesses on behalf of cloud telecoms provider Magnet is now out. Amárach surveyed 540 IT decision makers across Ireland as part of the study.
The report looked at the business outlook for the next 12 months and the research clearly points to a broadly positive sentiment among IT decision makers.
Seven in 10 (74%) say they have a positive business outlook for the next 12 months (25% very positive, 49% fairly positive).
This is relative to the 1 in 20 (5%) who are pessimistic (1% very negative, 4% fairly negative).
In addition to this data we can see that IT decision makers are more positive than the general public about the economic outlook.
Differences in outlook by region are also interesting. The West was most positive (31% very positive, 50% fairly positive), followed by Dublin (27% very positive, 52% fairly positive).
Those in the Mid-East region were most likely to be negative about their own business outlook (2% very negative, 9% fairly negative).
Dublin similarly had a positive outlook in terms of likelihood to open new premises. 37% said they were likely to open new premises in the next 12 months (15% very likely, 22% fairly likely).
The South East decision makers were also likely to open new premises at 34%. This finding was significant as it is one that points to a wider trend in the data, i.e. Dublin is typically ahead in terms of outlook.
To provide further evidence of this, 57% said they were likely to invest in IT infrastructure in the next 12 months. IT decision makers in the South East (54.6%) and Dublin (51.3%) also expressed a more positive economic outlook than average (50.1%).
IT decision makers are generally of the opinion that the Government is not doing much for SMEs currently. Just 24% said the Government is doing enough for businesses like them (6% said they’re doing a lot – 18% said they are doing enough), compared with 62% who said they are not doing enough (18% say they’re doing very little – 44% say they’re not doing enough).
However, results indicate a more positive outlook than last year when 86% said the Government was not doing enough. Dublin and the Mid-East have the most positive sentiments towards the government with 32% and 31% respectively saying they are doing enough for SMEs. The most negative sentiments are in the Mid-West with 72% saying the government is not doing enough.
Only 11% of IT decision makers are aware of Government technology/business grants. Awareness is highest among those in the Mid-East (15%) and North (13%). With this in mind it is not surprising that so few have attempted to or successfully accessed the Enterprise Ireland voucher or the Online Trading Voucher. Those in the South East were least likely to have attempted to access both the Enterprise Ireland Voucher and the Online Trading Voucher.
The field research carried out in January 2016.