New study by Sungard Availability Services finds that offering the right digital tools and training is a crucial aspect of attracting and retaining talent

Dublin, Republic of Ireland : October 11 2016 – Research from Sungard Availability Services® (Sungard AS), a leading provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, has revealed that Irish employees are leaving their current employers when digital working expectations are not met.

The study found that having access to the latest digital tools is considered crucial by 82% of Irish workers, whilst over a third (36%) admitted they would be embarrassed to work in an organisation that did not provide them. Over one fifth (21%) of Irish employees have already left a place of employment because they did not have access to the latest digital tools they felt they needed in order to remain competitive within their industry. While this figure is not as high as in the US, where the number of disgruntled employees rises to 32%, it should still serve as a wakeup call to Irish businesses – especially in the light that a further 60% believe they can find greater career opportunities at more digitally-led organisations.

Investment and Upskilling

Investment in digital tools is only half the battle. Organisations must also invest in their employees, ensuring that they have the skills and knowledge needed to make the best possible use of the new digital tools provided.

While employees recognise the need for digital tools, the technology is having the reverse effect if not implemented properly by the business. A quarter believe new digital tools are making their jobs more stressful, while 20% claim it has made their role more difficult. Worryingly, 24% say they do not understand how to use the new digital tools their employer has provided.

When compared with the rest of the world, employees in both Ireland and the US were the most confident when it came to the implementation of digital tools – with 42% in both regions feeling they are able to make the most of the digital tools available – while the UK is the most pessimistic with just 24% feeling the same. However, while Ireland may be more confident, there still remain issues on the road to digital transformation.

Obstacles to Overcome

Not having the right training, a lack of technical skills and not having enough time to dedicate towards making a success of it were named as the top three challenges hindering digital transformation, affecting 52%, 48% and 30% of Irish employees respectively. Meanwhile, 43% of workers complained they were not being given the training needed to get the most from the digital tools provided by their organisation, with 25% stating that the training received when given was simply not good enough.

Carmel Owens, general manager, Sungard Availability Services Ireland commented, “Ireland has long been viewed as a hub for technology, especially as it serves as a gateway to Europe for many multi-national organisations. It is therefore great to see that digital transformation is a priority for an overwhelming majority of Irish businesses. However, in the rush to embrace digital tools, the IT department is running the risk of leaving staff disaffected; either due to a lack of proper training, or time to fully adopt these new working practices.

“Ireland’s organisations need to work hard to keep hold of top talent – especially with the growing skills gap plaguing businesses across the globe. One fifth of Irish employees have already left organisations, signalling a potential staff retention crisis that needs to be rectified immediately.”

The full report is available to download by visiting Tame the Bear.

About the Research


Research was conducted by Vanson Bourne, on behalf of Sungard Availability Services, to investigate attitudes towards digital transformation in five countries across the world, focusing on expected benefits, challenges and business demands. Interviews were conducted in May 2016 across two groups of respondents: IT decision makers (ITDMs) and employees from the wider business. The research questioned respondents from businesses with a minimum of 250 employees in Ireland and Sweden and respondents from businesses with over 500 employees in the US, UK and France. These businesses operated in a variety of sectors, including financial services, professional services and retail.

Overall, 715 interviews were conducted online and over the telephone with ITDMs, including 101 from Ireland, 205 from the US, 153 from the UK, 156 from France and 100 from Sweden.

At the same time, 1400 interviews were conducted online and over the telephone with general employees, including 200 from Ireland, 400 from the US, 300 from the UK, 300 from France and 200 from Sweden.

This research defines digital transformation as implementing new and emerging technologies including cloud based technologies, digital platforms, website mobile site/applications, social media, and customer-facing technology systems, to increase productivity, develop new revenue streams and improve communication with internal and external parties. This can include consolidating or expanding the IT estate to support the deployment of digital solutions.