Open data, Open-Source and SPI for Irish SMEs

04 Jul
Counties of Ireland numbered.

Image via Wikipedia

[posted by me 2 months ago on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce forum]

Open-source can play a very significant role in Ireland’s future and its good to know that some of you are interested in technological benefits that move things forward for the whole country, not only for an individual or a company.

An introduction to Open Data. The main goal of the project is to make it easy for people to have access to Irish government data via an innovative platform that takes a grassroots approach to get people involved in achieving a more transparent and accountable government in Ireland.  The project aims to do this by helping Irish citizens to get access to high value, machine readable data sets that have been created by the Irish government sector authorities in the normal course of their business. By having this data available in a meaningful form we can help enhance government services and open up accountability.
The Irish government, like many governments, has been a little slow in coming forward and fully embracing the idea of transparency. Rather than waiting to see what happens, the members of Open Data have taken the initiative and decided to demonstrate the virtues of open data and the great applications that can be built using readily available technologies.

Open Data will be of massive benefits to so many Irish citizens and companies alike but from my perspective, I’ll be extremely happy to gain free access to it as well. As some of you might know, I’m building a national multi-modal multi-platform public transport information system and I will release it for free to the whole country. It will route (with turn by turn directions) from any national point A to any point B only by using public transport. Its part of my final year project in DCU and I know it will help move things forward in the right direction. At least for the public transport infrastructure. This should be one of the most important goals right now, especially for the leading multinationals and the Irish Government: do whats necessary to move things forward for everyone.

Earlier today I finished writing a very short research paper on Software Process Improvement models and the suitability of a process quality model like CMMI or ISO/IEC 29110 in the Irish SME and VSE environment. Please allow me to share some of my findings with you.

Kevin Ryan, from (The Irish Software Engineering Research Centre) wrote the following in the IEEE Computer Society journal no.6/2008: “Information and communication technologies, particularly software, play a crucial role in the Republic of Ireland’s remarkable economic growth. The Industrial Development Authority states that nine of the world’s top 10 software companies have significant operations in Ireland, making it the largest exporter of software in the world. In 2007, Ireland exported €50 billion worth of ICT products and services. Forty percent of the packaged software and 60 percent of the business software sold in Europe originated from Ireland. ” But that was in 2007.

The downturn in the economy has changed things quite a bit since then though. Further research has showed that Ireland completely lacks a software quality culture. And without sustainable quality in any industry, a company cannot survive long past its innovative starting point or past an economic boom. The current recession clearly proved that no matter how technological innovative a company might be, if its not constantly quality compliant, then soon enough will become a not-existing entity.

SMEs are central to the Irish economy and the software development VSEs play a major role in Ireland’s economic growth. The majority of people, but especially the decision makers from all industries – the managers and CXOs, really need to let go of the old ways and understand the benefits and advantages of using (the right) Technologies that will move things forward, will bring significant ROI to their companies, and subsequently to the country! The Irish government needs to acknowledge this and do everything they can to help them have the right resources so they can help the country. Ireland has no other major industry (that I know of), to bring significant revenue, so what other way is this country going to get out of the major debt is into now? I’m happy to hear ideas, maybe we’ll even gather enough to make a difference!

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Academic, Business, IT stuff


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