Enterprise Ireland: Ready for a new world

Irish innovation, resilience and partnerships are shaping the future of global business

Under the pressures of the pandemic, businesses around the world had to pivot to implement new strategies and technologies to provide prod- ucts and services digitally. While this new norm of business is built upon new technology, at its core it’s about people and meeting the changed demands of customers and employees.

“By delivering world-class talent and creativity alongside a highly collaborative approach, Irish companies are perfectly set for leading the new business environment,” says Sean Davis, director of Enterprise Ireland North America. “Throughout the difficult pandemic experience, we’ve seen talented Irish industry leaders and their teams step up with innovation to make a positive impact on business communities around the globe, and this effort is not slowing down.”


Redefining interactions

After nearly two years of working remotely, employees are increasingly expecting technology-driven initiatives from their employers, particularly around how to stay connected and how they work with others. Today, a large cluster of Irish HR and TalentTech firms are helping companies attract and retain employees, enhance performance management, and expand diversity and inclusion in their business.

WorkHuman, for example, is on a mission to make work more personal for millions of people and organizations worldwide. Through its cloud suite of products, companies can strengthen employee performance and connect people on a more positive and emotional level—in tune with how work gets done.

Another Irish company with the mission of improving employee communications is Workvivo. The company developed an employee communication platform to excite, engage and connect entire companies. Its unique approach combines a social network with an easy-to-use employee app.


Diversity, equality, inclusion

In addition to significant shifts in workplace connectivity, current and potential employees now expect to come into organizations where diversity and inclusion are key priorities. In 2020, Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government’s trade and innovation agency, launched a new Women in Business Action Plan. This initiative offers a wide-ranging set of actions to support the scaling of women-led businesses, increase startup rates among women, support the recruitment of women as senior managers, and highlight role models and good practices.


Addressing equality issues in the banking sector, Irish companies are providing innovative payment solutions to the unbanked and underbanked. PiP- iT Global has devised a secure and private online payment platform that helps customers spend cash digitally. In particular, it facilitates migrants living and working around the world, who may not have full access to banking facilities, to send money and pay bills internationally, at low cost and in a secure way.

Irish company AID:Tech enables entitlements such as aid, welfare and donations to be digitized, delivered and tracked using blockchain technology, including the distribution of international aid to refugee camps. This solution enables, for the first time, the ability to track a payment from the donation to the recipient. One of its partners, Women’s World Banking, uses AID:Tech to deliver their Caregiver microinsurance at scale, ensuring claims are paid simply, quickly and transparently. Women’s World Banking is committed to making affordable health insurance schemes available to low-income women in developing markets.

With more banking now being conducted online, transaction monitoring, high-quality risk controls and proactive cyber security are ever more critical. Irish company Daon helped invent many of the mobile device authentication systems in use today, and Fenergo’s award-winning digital client lifecycle and regulatory compliance solutions enable financial institutions to create a truly frictionless customer experience.

Internet of Everything

The new business norm not only brings with it new tools and services for employees and customers, but it also brings into businesses a level of insights and actionable data that was simply not possible within the old-school, all-analog world. Today’s devices and sensors generate very valuable data at a rate we could have never predicted. Smartphones, smartwatches, tablets and all manner of IoT-connected products, from refrigerators to health monitors, have become globally ubiquitous. Combined with the ready availability of the cloud, we are now a very connected world—and Irish innovation is at the forefront of this connectivity.

Ireland-based Tekelek, a developer of tank monitoring devices, has been particularly successful in leveraging remote connectivity and digital technologies for managing and tracking data and devices—creating new business sectors with new and unique employment opportunities. Solutions from patientMpower ensure that specialist healthcare teams can remotely monitor patients with respiratory conditions without the need for patients to attend the hospital. The Salaso Health platform is a HIPAA-compliant and secure telemedicine service that allows healthcare providers to continue patient-centered care remotely, including secure video consultations and live exercise demonstrations.

In agriculture—a sector very dear to Irish culture—EquiTrace creates data management solutions for horse farms and traceability solutions for equine organizations. Herdwatch is working to simplify agribusiness by helping farms eliminate paperwork and make better decisions; ApisProtect brings ground-breaking technology to commercial beekeeping; Iamus is an artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics company that uses machine learning to turn visual, environmental and biometric bird and farm information into actionable data for poultry producers, and Piper Systems uses advanced automation and data technology to improve milk collection, loading and sampling.


Partnership: The catalyst for growth

Today’s complex marketplace requires collaboration with a range of partners to provide the best combined solutions for customers. Cloud technologies, advanced data analysis and a proliferation of IoT devices are driving technolo- gy integrations across all business sectors. “Around the globe, Ireland is highly regarded for its leading software development in AI, data analytics, augmented and virtual realities, cognitive cloud computing, IoT technology and more,” says Davis. “Irish tech companies are forward looking, success driven and work with a global mindset.”

As the world’s largest venture capital entity by deal count, Enterprise Ireland works with Irish startups to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to create mutually advantageous partnerships between Irish and international companies.

Organizations today are being called upon to navigate increasingly complex social, environmental and technological challenges that they can’t solve alone. The shared expertise and knowledge of a well-designed partnership can spark innovation and unlock new opportunities and networks—and Irish businesses are ready to develop the solutions and build the relationships that will help us all succeed in the new world norm.