For a relatively small island, Ireland an important location to help connect us, with numerous companies opting to run data centers there. In many ways, the green isle is the gateway to Europe for businesses on other continents.
Many factors make Ireland a top choice for business; not least are its location, sustainable impact, and pro-technology and business philosophy. It’s rapidly becoming a popular digital destination for enterprises and is attracting major international business and technology giants from around the globe.
Ireland is home to over 1,000 multinational companies and hyperscale providers for some of the biggest brands, including Google, Facebook and Amazon—all of which have a vast data center presence on the island. With many tech companies opting to make Ireland one of their bases, the country boasts a growing talent pool and tech community that makes it a top choice for multinational businesses to invest in.
But what exactly has led to Ireland’s digital ascension and why is it one of the top 10 most innovative countries worldwide? We’ll explore four main reasons why multinationals are flocking to Ireland more than others in Europe, as well as what makes the country a serious contender for business and one to watch this year.
Open Economy and Pro-Technology Ethos Attract Business
Ireland has always been a business- and technology-friendly country, offering secure data-protection laws and a strongly endorsed government policy on the digital sector. Previously voted as the best western-European country to invest in, Ireland also has the fastest-growing GDP in Europe. Supporting all of these characteristics is a full package of tax benefits and a corporate tax rate of just 12.5%, which is lower than in most European countries.
What strengthens Ireland’s position as a digital hub, however, is its people and their overwhelmingly pro-technology ethos. The country has a well-skilled workforce, particularly in the IT space, with most of its workers having the bonus of being tech savvy, multilingual and experienced in international business. The median age of the population is 35, which is the lowest in Europe, and this age group likes to do business differently. Unsurprisingly, then, organizations in the U.S. find it to be a major draw for operating in Ireland.
Ireland: Among the Best-Connected Locations in the World
Although robust and pro-digital policies and people help, geographical location is what makes Ireland desirable for companies with data centers. In the past 10 years, Ireland has progressed rapidly in broadband connectivity.
Currently situated on the axis between the American and European continents, Ireland has secure and resilient global connectivity on an international scale. It’s a gateway between Europe and the U.S., offering transatlantic cables that travel from North America to Europe.
For instance, 11 subsea cables connect Ireland to the U.K., and it’s also home to the Hibernia Atlantic, a high-capacity subsea cable that links Ireland directly to North America. There’s also the newly-built “Emerald Express” submarine cable system from Emerald Networks, connecting North America and Northern Europe with a route from Long Island and New York to Ireland. The Emerald Express is the largest low-latency network across the Atlantic, making it ideal for businesses from the U.S. looking to expand in Europe. To top off the connectivity, Dublin also has a T50 broadband ring in the form of a 44-kilometre multiduct fiber-optic cable system that provides access to 27 international carriers.
Not Just Green by Name, but by Nature
In 2016, 26% of the energy produced in Ireland came from renewable sources, helping to provide cleaner and less expensive power options for businesses relocating. In addition, Ireland also has the third-highest wind adoption in the world. By 2020, the green isle has set itself an ambitious target of generating 40% of all its energy from renewable sources, which would make it one of the greenest energy producers in Europe.
The focus on sustainability is a decisive factor for organizations that want to operate their data centers most efficiently and responsibly. Helping data center operations in Ireland is the temperate climate, which avoids many extreme conditions. With temperatures bouncing between average highs of 20°C and lows of 6°C, the climate is ideal for free air cooling, a technique that uses 40% less electricity than typical cooling methods.
Many High-Performance Companies Choose Ireland
High-speed and low-latency networks are making Ireland a favored destination for big data and analytics. As a result, it has built a solid U.S. customer base that attracts everything from large enterprises, social-media companies and game developers to SaaS and even startup businesses. Ireland already hosts 16 of the world’s top 20 software companies, 13 of 15 top medical-tech companies, 20 of the top 25 financial-services companies, 8 of the 10 top industrial-automation companies and all of the world’s biggest pharma companies. Although these numbers are impressive on their own, the digital transformation in Ireland shows no signs of slowing down.
Some of the most prominent digital brands around the world are recognizing Ireland’s sustainable powerhouse reputation. Through its high reputation across the globe, the country is also positioning itself to become a world leader in the Internet of Things, big data, IT skills, energy efficiency, health innovation and cloud computing. As one of the most attractive European destinations already, Ireland is on track to become even more prominent in the digital world.
About the Author
Tanya Duncan joined Interxion in 2001, where she held a number of positions before becoming managing director in 2005. Having almost 20 years in the IT industry, she began her career in the telecom sector with roles at KPNQwest and Esat BT. Tanya has extensive experience in the management of complex customer environments, capital-intensive projects and strategic business development. She has played a vital role in the positioning and development of Interxion in Ireland. Her customer focus, coupled with a strong understanding of business and technical requirements, has spearheaded Interxion’s success in the Irish data center market. Tanya holds a BA and BAI in mechanical & manufacturing engineering from The University of Dublin, Trinity College, as well as a postgraduate degree in business studies. In addition, Tanya is a member of Host in Ireland.