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Irish Internet economy worth E21bn by 20

Ireland’s Internet economy is predicted to grow in value to E20bn by 2020 but Irish firms risk being left behind and becoming globally irrelevant unless they innovate now.

That’s according to global technology consultancy, BearingPoint, who said that Irish people are estimated to have spent E6 billion online in 2014, according to a recent study.

In 2013, the Government estimated that Irish online shoppers spent only E1.1 billion on Irish goods and services. Publishing its digital strategy report, “Leap into the connected digital economy”, BearingPoint said Irish businesses need to integrate digital thinking into their business model if they are to retain and grow their markets.

Its figures suggest that the online market will constitute 20pc of the entire world market by 2030. Currently, Ireland’s internet economy is worth 5pc of GDP, and is estimated to grow to 10pc, or E21.1 billion, by 2020.

The report claims that the convergence and mass adoption of new technologies is creating a new digital environment, where businesses are investing in new skills and looking to their digital-focused partners to provide technological insight and value to their operations.

While the report outlines the consistently strong value of physical stores (consumers can see, touch and test products), through innovative use of emerging digital technologies, businesses can offer bespoke, personalised services, resulting in new customer experiences.

Michael O’Dwyer, Partner at BearingPoint Ireland, said: “Irish businesses can forge an entirely new digital environment using technologies like big data and cloud computing. These are widely available and widely regarded, and can have hugely transformative effects on a business, particularly in delivering new value to customers. We are confident that the know-how delivered by our new partnership with the IVI will be of huge benefit to Irish businesses in this regard. Adoption of these new technologies drives up not only productivity and efficiency, but profitability. An innovative Ireland that embraces this new digital economy will not only remain relevant, but encourage business creation and attract continued foreign investment.”

BearingPoint made the comments today as it announced that it has teamed-up with leading IT think-tank, the Innovation Value Institute (IVI), to help Irish businesses develop long-term digital strategies.

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