Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

ICT: The missing piece of your export puzzle?

Local businesses can expand their markets across the globe|by adopting a robust technology|strategy, argues Jonathan Magee of eircom Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is changing and responding to the challenges of economic and structural reform at a time of unparalleled global turmoil.

Every organisation is adapting and having to change to ensure they are competitive and relevant in the current market.

Jonathan Magee, Head of Solutions with eircom Northern Ireland, with ten years of experience in ICT in the government and enterprise sectors, understands the need to have a good infrastructure at the core of any business.

“Technology is changing and companies need to understand the capability of ICT in order to enhance their business,” said Jonathan Magee.

“In the current climate, ICT has a role to play and you need to ensure that you get the right communications infrastructure for your business. Each ICT solution should be bespoke and with each organisation will come different challenges: what network or platform is required; what capacity is required, what communications system is needed; all of it has to be tailored to ensure it will support a company’s business objectives.”

Northern Ireland Plc has invested much in its telecoms infrastructure. Next-generation broadband and Project Kelvin are but two major projects from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Fibre-optic cable now runs directly from eight cities and towns in Northern Ireland to North America, providing movement of data and information in milliseconds. This, coupled with the quality of graduates and a growing ICT sector, means that Northern Ireland has a great basis to build upon.

Businesses need to embrace change and take advantage of the tools and technology that can increase productivity and efficiency and there are many organisations who don’t understand what a Wide Area Network is or what Internet Protocol telephony can save them in terms of cost.

“The ICT sector is like any sector, we have our own language but when it comes to the customer we ensure that we listen to what it is they want to achieve and then we provide the most cost-effective and future-proof solution with the addition of excellent customer service,” he added.

“When it comes to export, the ability of businesses to compete internationally is recognised as vital to stimulating growth within an economy. Just look at family-run businesses Cunningham Covers and Chain Reaction Cycles — both have managed to export their goods extremely successfully.

“The common denominator, for both of these organisations, is that they realised the necessity to use ICT as a strategic part of their business. Each of them has effectively exploited technology to open new markets across the globe.”

So the gauntlet has been thrown down: have you the right communications network in place to ensure growth and a great future?

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