92% of Irish residents believe technology sits at the heart of the changes currently transforming Ireland, with 42% saying it is the main driver, and 41% feeling positive about the changes technology is driving, according to Fujitsu’s "Technology in a Transforming Ireland" report.
This positivity is driven from the opportunities aligned with technology. 68% of the public say technology is having a positive impact on education, enabling access to new ways of learning and technology’s ability to allow for the development of new skills. A reflection perhaps of the fact that only 31% say that Ireland is prepared for a digital future and have the skills to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.
While the outlook is vastly positive, there is a note of caution for technology providers, with the findings highlighting a gap in the Irish public’s comfort levels with the risks association with technology and new innovations. The biggest concern outlined is the threat posed by cybersecurity (50%), followed by social anxiety and the role technology plays in promoting a more reclusive and less social lifestyle (40%), and the potential impact of extremism with technology enabling access to potentially dangerous information (37%).
Assessing the Irish public’s acceptance of technology in their everyday lives outlines that the majority are comfortable with innovations that ease their everyday lives, including using technology to monitor energy usage (61%) and 43% of those surveyed said they would be happy to deal with an automated system for tax returns. However, 62% would not be happy to be diagnosed by an AI doctor and less than 16% would be comfortable being diagnosed via a mobile app.
Consumers know that technology is having an impact on every sector, with banking and insurance companies the one they feel is changing the most (46%) along with online retail (35%) and high street shops and supermarkets (31%).
“To ensure the Irish public can keep up and embrace technology innovations, and that Ireland remains at the heart of digital transformation, companies need to ensure that they are educating people and taking responsibility for bringing them on the technology journey with them,” said Fujitsu Ireland CEO, Tony O’Malley.
He continued, “From smart phones to instant messages, online shopping to electronic payments, technology plays a leading role in our everyday lives. Young or old, we can hardly recall a time when we couldn’t search online for and answer in an instant, transfer funds, check account balances or research and book our own holiday without the need for any expert assistance. While all of these developments allow us to lead a more convenient and fast-paced lifestyle, there is a need for further education and focus on comfortability. We need technology to be a supportive and positive force that helps to shape a better future that’s fit for purpose.”
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.