The ICT sector has a well-developed global supply chain model, comprising a number of very large players as well as smaller, agile, technology intensive and innovative firms. The sector is one in which the pace of change is exceptional, where products become commoditised at an early stage in their life-cycle, where mass customisation and manu-services models are well embedded. The R&D life cycle is relatively short, iterative and highly competitive and a close connection with the customer is an essential part of the process. The phenomenal increase in Big Data and mobility pose real challenges for the sector and Cloud Computing has been identified as the industry’s solution to manage these challenges.
Despite a considerable reduction in terms of employment of those involved in ICT hardware manufacturing, Ireland remains host to a number of global players and a range of Irish owned electronics firms.
For Ireland growth opportunities in the ICT/electronics manufacturing sector are in R&D and/or Intellectual Property (IP) intensive low or medium volume manufacturing activities: pilot production and prototyping; ‘intelligent’ devices and systems integration serving the manufacturing and other sectors aimed at increasing energy efficiencies; advanced Integrated Circuit (IC) design and fabless manufacture (e.g. System on a Chip, Lab on a Chip); and in furthering the applied research agenda in manufacturing process developments, analytics and optimisation of the supply chain.