Home Knowledge Ireland is a Leading Location for Data-Related Investment in the EU

Ireland is a Leading Location for Data-Related Investment in the EU


93% believe data-driven investment in Ireland is possible or likely in the next 18 months

A global survey published by William Fry has found that for today’s decision makers, the most important driver for international organisations looking to locate data-related investments in the EU is the data-related regulatory regime.  This is followed by access to talent and then the legal framework of the jurisdiction. William Fry’s Global Trends in Technology & Data report analyses the key factors driving data investment and is based on insights from over 300 C-suite executives from leading companies around the world.

Data-related regulation was ranked as the number one consideration, for which Ireland was rated as good or excellent by 92% of participants; Ireland’s legal regime received good or excellent ratings from 97%; and the ratings for language and culture (93%) and political and regulatory stability (90%) scored very highly. When asked how likely it is that their company will be making significant or further data related investments in Ireland in the next 18 months, 62% of global c-suite executives said it was ‘likely’, with an additional 31% indicating that it was ‘possible’.

David Cullen, partner and head of our Technology department, noted that: “Comparing this report with our 2016 study, Europe for Big Data, is fascinating. Data regulation has replaced tax rate (now number 8) as the top driver for location decisions. Talent has become even more important as a consideration whilst the importance of a jurisdiction’s legal framework remains at number 3. There is also evidence of a significant and favourable shift in attitudes towards Ireland as a suitable location for data related location or investment since our last report in 2016”.

Harmonization of data protection laws

Significantly, organisations appear concerned and even confused about some aspects of the implementation of the GDPR data regime in Europe. For example, 89% of organisations now agree that the interpretation and enforcement of privacy regulations in the EU varies significantly between member states. This suggests a demand for much greater EU-wide coordination is essential. This is up from 61% in 2016, a very significant increase.

Privacy and information security

Regardless of the business model, country of operation, size, strategy, or industry, every company can become a victim of cyberattacks. Security of data is key to ensuring the smooth flow of business operations and to mitigate functional risks. As such, it is not surprising that our report showed 73% of organisations are increasing their investment in information security.

Strategic Technologies

Despite the challenges faced in dealing with economic uncertainty and regulatory concerns, businesses are enthusiastic about the part new and emerging technologies will play in their future success:


Artificial Intelligence

  • Investment in infrastructure assets to facilitate AI comes out on top for 79% of respondents.
  • 66% plan to spend on R&D and IP with 53% on physical facilities.


  • 80% of companies expect significant impact on supply chain and supplier payments.
  • 74% plan to spend on technology assets, 58% on R&D and IP with 51% on physical facilities.


  • 89% are preparing for changes to new product development
  • 81% are planning for the impact of 5G on communications security
  • 79% are looking at related investment priorities.


  • The key benefits of IoT was identified as improving just-in-time ordering and production processes (77%) followed by capturing real-time customer feedback (65%)

David Cullen concluded by saying: “Whilst our 2016 study found that companies across all industries have become data organisations, our latest report suggests that we are truly part of a data culture; adopting fast-evolving radical new technologies that reflect the changing ways in which we now work and live our lives. In today’s world, smart data analysis is, more than ever before, a key differentiator for businesses.”

Download the full report by on the image below.