- by E on 12/07/2023

According to Expleo's Business Transformation Index (BTI) of Ireland 2023, there has been dramatic and rapid changes in the business world in Ireland. Unsurprisingly, this increased acceleration is mainly down to the power of technology, more specifically the introduction of Artificial intelligence into business activities. Although this has caused a major shift in how businesses operate in terms of their work styles, the full depths of this powerful new innovation is yet to be fully explored.

In addition to this, according to this years BTI, another key trend of businesses in Ireland in 2023 is the increased focus on environmental sustainability. The new Corporate Sustainability Directive Issued by the EU could be attributed to as one of the main factors of this shift in focus, which is underpinned by several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) issued by the UN. The BTI 2023 claims that Irish businesses are mainly focusing on three of these SDGs;

  • 43%: focusing on improving health and well being
  • 34%: focusing on gender equality
  • 33%: focusing on decent work and economic growth

While these figures are leaning towards companies prioritising sustainability in the workplace, Expleo's research has determined that half of business leaders expect to spend less on sustainability initiatives in the next 12 months due to concerns about the current economic outlook. In addition to this, the percentage of business leaders who have reported to have made "Clear plans that will help Ireland to meet its decarbonisation target" has decreased significantly from 90% in 2022 to 80% in 2023. More alarmingly, the BTI has reported that a shocking 54% of Irish businesses have lost customers due to dissatisfaction with their sustainability performance in the last 12 months.

Although these statistics might seem stark, we must take into account the ambiguity surrounding CSRD for Irish businesses is vast, with many business leaders feeling left in the dark regarding their obligations to report on their sustainable actions. Subsequently, the imminence of climate change and pressures from EU Governments will likely lead to an increase in business leaders prioritising sustainability in the coming years.

"Technology has come to be viewed by business leaders in Ireland as synonymous with business success". This comment from the BTI holds a lot of weight in terms of where Irish businesses are now, and where they are headed in the next five years. The rapid advancements in technology has broadened the horizons for Irish businesses, and will continue to do so if the roll out of AI continues the way it has been over the past few months of 2023. The BTI claims that a staggering 88% of Irish business leaders have reported that their board is now more likely to approve new IT strategies and innovations than they were five years ago. This large percentage is likely down to the adoption of new technologies into business strategies, and their proven success rate.

We predict, with the help of Expleo's research, that the future will become digital for businesses in Ireland. Over the past decade, we have seen more traditional forms of business activities become obsolete, as businesses are constantly adapting the way they operate in line with advancements in technology.

In conclusion, according to Expleo's research "Irelands business pioneers have emerged as the catalysts of change and innovation that has defined our future". If businesses continue to thrive in the way have been over the last few years, the opportunities and possibilities for Ireland will be endless, with technology driving the way forward.

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