Software Alliance Chair Addresses Delegation of US Representatives

Yesterday our Chair, John Healy, had the privilege of addressing a delegation of almost 200 elected representatives from the United States on behalf of the software sector.

This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the sector as integral to Northern Ireland’s growing economy as well as emphasise the huge role that US companies have played in developing the entire industry here.

John highlighted Allstate’s role in the creation of the tech sector in Northern Ireland, with it being the first technology foreign direct investor after the peace process 25 years ago.

With foreign investment and home-grown success stories from companies like Kainos, Instil and First Derivatives, the sector has excelled to become one which contributes £1.5 billion each year, employs nearly 30,000 people in high paying jobs in around 2,200 businesses, and a region recognised for the quality of its software engineering.

“The fundamental success of the software sector is built upon our engineering excellence.  We were once famous for our heavy industry, our shipbuilding; now we are recognised for the quality of our software engineering”.

John also set out three main priorities for the Software Alliance as it continues to establish itself as the voice of software in Northern Ireland.

  1. Development of Skills

Although this is essential of all economies, it is especially important for a sector that is constantly changing and developing, and where the technology skills are needed not just to build the software, but are also needed with the Health Education, Manufacturing, and Life Science sectors.

  1. Access to Markets

Enhancing the sector’s ability integrate more deeply into global supply chains and sell the world class products which are made and developed here in Northern Ireland.

  1. Access to Funding

With Northern Ireland possessing a brilliant and innovative start-up community, there needs to be more private equity flowing into Northern Ireland to help great ideas, products and companies properly launch, and ultimately grow the wealth and prosperity for Northern Ireland and its people.

"Software is a hugely important part of the economy of Northern Ireland. The foundations and the models are there for it to be truly great".

As Northern Ireland navigates the post-Brexit landscape, this was a unique opportunity for the Software Alliance to flaunt the sector’s potential to hundreds of elected representatives from the US, and demonstrate the business environment that exists here as one where businesses pull together with initiatives like the Software Alliance to benefit not just individual member companies, but the entire sector and the economy as a whole.