A dairy cow lumbering through a field seems to be the antithesis of high technology but sensors, AI, analytics, connectivity and the other elements of the Internet of Things are beginning to have a significant impact on milk production, which is none too soon. With a world population that will reach 9.7 billion by 2050 -- that's more than two billion additional humans than exist today -- global food production system will be increasingly under siege from forces like urbanization, climate change, less arable land and the ongoing difficulty of finding workers in the United States in this low-paying field.
Technical recruiters are living out the famous Charles Dickens line, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." The United States is now nine years into the second-longest economic upswing in history and business is booming but at the same time, finding qualified tech workers has become a virtual Mount Everest achievement, leading to poaching wars, relentless job-hopping, unfilled positions and angst in executive suites. This is coupled by a mounting challenge, the H1-B lottery and slow green card processing are all discouraging candidates. A recent survey of over 3,000 technology leaders by KPMG revealed that 65 percent believe hiring challenges are hurting their business, up from 59 percent who thought so in the previous year's survey.
Ireland is playing India in two T20 cricket internationals in Dublin this week; the first match takes place to-day (27 June) and the second on Friday (29 June), in Malahide.
Interest in artificial intelligence is at ‘fever pitch’, according to the technology market research company IDC. If measured in money, the heat will reach almost 20 billion this year – that’s the dollar amount IDC forecasts that companies will spend on AI and cognitive computing. But in fact, the temperature around these technologies has been rising for some time.
While the American medtech industry is thriving, it still must deal with challenges that include higher production costs, finding skilled staff and the ongoing issues innate to a highly regulated sector. Then there are global concerns such as competition, funding and the high cost of research. With Europe and the United States being the key markets, many U.S. medtech firms have located some of their operations in Ireland in order to take advantage of an established, flourishing life sciences sector, strong governmental support and easy access to the lucrative European market.
With an expected two billion more mouths to feed on the planet by 2050, it's no surprise that the Agtech industry is looking at new approaches today to achieve this goal, searching for lower-cost technology that will deliver higher yields with less environmental impact. American Agtech companies are under increased pressure as the United States recently slipped from first to fourth place in the rankings of most "food-secure" nations worldwide, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
If there’s one word that captures the aims of ambitious high-tech companies, it’s scale. It’s about hitting big numbers – whether that’s customers, ARR or valuation – fast. Scale is embedded into the DNA of founders and the VCs backing them with the financial firepower to reach their ambitious goals.
When Keeper Security set up its first European operations in late December, it chose Cork as its location – but its decision wasn’t out of the ordinary. The password management company joined a growing roster of cybersecurity companies operating in the greater Cork area, including AlienVault, Cylance, eSentire, FireEye, Malwarebytes, McAfee, Sophos, Trend Micro and Trustev/TransUnion. You could say that Ireland’s second city is a hidden gem for cybersecurity.
When Jaguar Land Rover announced 150 jobs in Shannon back in January, the engineering work at this this site turned out not to involve pistons and carburettors but devops and code. The news is a signpost of change happening right across the auto industry. Cars increasingly rely on software and connectivity, and in doing so, they’re fulfilling a forecast from a 2016 Harvard Business Review article: “every business will be a software business”. Last year, Marc Rogers of the security company CloudFlare, went further, telling the New York Times: “These are no longer cars… they are data centres on wheels”.
Gavin Prendergast had already been thinking about going into business for himself with an enterprise that would tap into his love for food. Then the multinationals came calling.
Dublin may be a natural business hub, but the country’s FDI story doesn’t end in the capital. Silicon Docks is synonymous with thriving tech companies, but cities like Galway and Cork attract their share of multinationals too. Galway alone has close to 23,000 people whose jobs come from IDA-supported FDI projects, while Cork has a thriving community of companies in both pharmaceuticals and cybersecurity sectors.
Foreign direct investment doesn’t happen in a bubble. From the moment multinational companies decide to set up operations in Ireland, they will need to interact with local service providers. Their needs may run the gamut from office fit-out, catering and construction, through to professional services such as recruitment, IT, legal and accounting services or public relations.
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, uncertainty provokes similar feelings for business. As this white paper makes clear, a growing nationalist and protectionist mindset around the world is creating a fresh set of challenges for global businesses.
Engineering leaders shared their advice for CTOs, leaders of engineering teams and international operation decision makers at recent IDA Ireland meetup
Building great tech companies starts with hiring great people. That’s easy to say but harder to do. Competition for the best talent is so tight, while pressure to scale fast can also hinder good HR practices. That challenge is exacerbated when the company is expanding globally.
Europe is a vast, lucrative market and having a local tech operation in place to support it makes sense. But there are also solid economic reasons for a company to expand its engineering program to Europe. Europe offers a marketplace of 550 million people and is seen by many US tech companies as the gateway to EMEA region.
It’s an altogether tougher challenge to scale the organisation that develops, sells and supports the product - especially as the business goes international. It was a theme heard again and again during SaaStock 2017 in Dublin.
Our round up from SaaStock 2017 In companies founded by engineers - as many SaaS providers are - sales is sometimes a dirty word. But getting to healthy recurring revenue is the goal to building a sustainable software-as-a-service business, which explains why sales featured prominently on the agenda at the SaaStock conference in Dublin.
Engineers are the lifeblood of any SaaS company, which is why it’s worth building a culture that attracts them.
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