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Behind the Celtic Tiger: Key Issues in the Management of Information Technology in Ireland in the Late 1990’s

Behind the Celtic Tiger: Key Issues in the Management of Information Technology in Ireland in the Late 1990’s
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Author(s): Joseph McDonagh (University of Dublin, Ireland) and Andrew Harbison (University of Dublin, Ireland)
Copyright: 2000
Pages: 5
Source title: Challenges of Information Technology Management in the 21st Century
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-84-1.ch020


Like most of its counterparts in the developed world, in the last ten years the Irish economy has become highly dependent on information technology (IT), both as a source of export earning and as a means for businesses enhance their competitive performance. Indeed, given its unusually high dependence on IT-based industries, Ireland is particularly exposed to the need to maximise the benefits accrued from information technology. The country is now, in absolute terms, the world’s second largest supplier of software, with over 40% of all packaged software sold in Europe originating in Ireland (IDA Ireland, 1999). Nearly one third of all personal computers sold in Europe are manufactured in Ireland, with many major manufacturers having their European bases in Ireland. Ireland has also developed a thriving indigenous IT industry. Iona, Kindle and CBT are but the best known of the 600 small, medium and large Irish IT companies operating at the current time. The IDA presently estimate that, on average, Irish IT company start-ups occur at the rate of three per week (Brown, 1999). Given Ireland’s remarkable success in attracting, developing and retaining IT-specialised companies, it is surprising that no detailed analysis has ever been carried out of the IT management issues within the country. Such an analysis might be of immense use in identifying areas of concern; points where pressure may be growing in the rapidly expanding Irish IT sector. Identification of such factors may allow managers to make allowances for them, thereby lessening their effects.

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