- About NBI
- Network Map
- NBI Network
- News and Media
19th June 2020
Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland
By: Erik O’Donovan
How can we safeguard our economic future through digital opportunities? By investing now, we can create a better Ireland going forward, says Erik O’Donovan.
Digital tools are essential services to our economy and society. They have enabled us to connect, work, study, shop, and access public services in these challenging times. Digital tools and data are even assisting and enhancing healthcare provision during this public health emergency.
Ireland had made progress in its digital development going into the COVID-19 crisis. However, some gaps remain in our relative readiness to access and adopt existing and emerging digital opportunities for future growth and well-being. Accessing these digital opportunities has been a challenge for some, while the attainment of digital skills and bridging regional digital divides have grown in importance. The ambition of the National Broadband Plan and opportunities presented by 5G technology must be realised.
Criminal elements have also sought to exploit the crisis using digital tools, underlying the need to preserve trust and protect our essential services, businesses, and people online. Finally, this emergency has shown the value of government, agencies, businesses and citizens working together, both at home and internationally, to drive positive change in difficult times.
Our economic future is intrinsically linked to the ability of our health and wider governance systems to confidently model and plan for the phased re-opening of the country. Furthermore, our economic future must be robust enough for the potential re-emergence of such emergencies in the future. Trustworthy digital tools and data, used in conjunction with a suite of health measures, offer the opportunity to assist Ireland and Europe in transitioning from this emergency to providing better public services, economic growth, quality jobs and enhancing well-being.
The European Commission’s COVID-19 recovery plan for the EU is based on a more digitalised Single Market and green growth. It has been estimated that, under certain conditions, a more digitalised Single Market could provide annual gains of up to €178 billion to the EU economy until 2030. Ibec research indicates there has been a business move towards more online sales (31%), coupled with greater use of remote working (73%) and increased investment in technology (42%), pointing to a more digitalised way of conducting business in the future.
So, how should Ireland ensure it is at the forefront of this digital future?
As James Joyce noted, “I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today.” It is time to reimagine tomorrow.
Read about Ibec’s Reboot and Reimagine campaign at www.ibec.ie.
Erik O’Donovan is the Head of Digital Economic Policy at Ibec.
The ComReg survey – which was conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes – shows that 77% of broadband users have seen an increase in the usage of their home broadband service since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced. This figure has increased from 61% in April 2020 when the survey was last conducted, highlighting the growing reliance on home broadband services.READ MORE
In Wexford, there are 22,175 premises in the Intervention Area (IA), which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses and schools. This equates tp 27 per cent on all premises in the country.READ MORE
In Carlow, the first areas being surveyed include Downings, Ballymurphy, Coppenagh, Killerig, Friarstown, Slaneyquarter and Kilmagarvoge. Others will include Nurney, Agha, Old Leighlin, Clogrennane and Kellistown.READ MORE