The Tech Industry: The Highs & The Lows

The struggles that the tech industry has been facing in the last year has been front page news. Market slowdown, investor pull-outs, layoffs, inflation, rising interest rates, falling values and rising costs have all combined to put a massive dent in the tech boom that was flying high in previous years.

As one of the most important tech hubs in Europe, Ireland has felt the knock-on effects of multinational companies making global decisions to let people go. With names like IBM, Intel, Stripe, Meta, Twitter, Intercom, Salesforce, Zendesk and Amazon all making dramatic cuts, it is no surprise that this has had a negative effect on the Irish-based tech workforce.

However, rather than see this as a tech bust, optimists are more likely to refer to it as a tech slowdown. When compared to the globally-announced tech layoffs, Ireland has so far escaped the worst hits. Ireland can boast a highly skilled and well educated tech workforce and, as a result many, companies are holding onto people with certain skills in particular areas. Plus those that have been laid off have been quick to find alternative employment on the back of Ireland’s strong indigenous tech sector.

The Irish Times recently reported a letter written by Chief executive Martina Fitzgerald and Scale Ireland chair Brian Caulfield to then-Tánaiste Leo Varadkar requesting that those impacted by the recent redundancy announcements be given assistance to direct their skills and experiences into the indigenous tech start-up sector, which “has grown significantly in terms of jobs, exports, revenue and innovation. It is widely recognised at EU level that the sector will be a significant driver of future economic growth,”

Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy insisted that small firms can thrive in the current volatile economic environment and he pointed out that Ireland’s tech sector remains resilient, despite all the recent doom and gloom and remained confident that “Ireland is uniquely placed for success.”

As we head into Spring, it would appear that small emerging tech companies in Ireland are in good shape to emerge in a healthy state following the recent tech slowdown. Decisions that were made to be cautious about hiring alongside a conscious effort to conserve capital has meant that many companies are in good shape to grow in 2023.

As for the big multinational tech firms with locations in Ireland, Minister for Employment Simon Coveney believes we are “over the worst” of the job cuts announcements. Returning from a visit to the United States for a series of meetings with different companies, Coveney was keen to emphasize the optimistic forecast coming from the technology sector in the US: “I have spent the week on the west coast of the US speaking to large tech companies (who) really like Ireland… They find fantastic skills here. They want to grow and expand here.”

Fingers crossed that we avoid another round of layoffs and build upon our highly skilled workforce, supportive government policies and continue to provide a diverse range of employment opportunities for tech professionals and find our way back from bust to boom!

Are you interested in a career in Tech? Register now to attend the online Tech Careers Fair on Thursday, 13th July, 2023, 10am – 4pm featuring some of Ireland’s leading IT and tech employers.

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