OUTSOURCING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOFTWARE COMPANIES

Sep 27, 2004

Invest NI commissioned Gartner Research, one of the world’s leading IT research organisations, to assist local companies identify specific opportunities within the financial services sector at a workshop in Belfast on May 7.



Senior managers from 14 local software companies took part in the one-day workshop which was arranged as a follow-up to a major research report on the financial services sector produced last September by Gartner for Invest NI. Momentum, the Northern Ireland Software Industry Federation, also participated in the workshop.

Jeremy Fitch, Invest NI’s Director of International ICT, outlining the agency’s approach, said: “Financial services continues to exceed other market sectors in terms of IT spending, according to Gartner and other industry analysts. Working with Gartner is part of a wider initiative to identify and quantify how Northern Ireland software developers can exploit the trends in outsourcing.”

At the workshop, up-to-date information about IT trends was provided by Ian Marriott, Research Director at Gartner Research.

Mr Marriott said: “Outsourcing is currently the only segment of the Western European IT services market that continues to grow. Enterprises and IT service providers are beginning to recognise that Northern Ireland provides a highly skilled English talent pool for companies wishing to take work offshore.

“Northern Ireland is well positioned to offer IT services and support to financial services markets, at a lower cost than either Western Europe or the USA,” he added.

Jeremy Fitch said Northern Ireland’s growing reputation for software development has attracted blue-chip companies such as Liberty Mutual, Allstate Corporation/Northbrook Technologies, Schlumberger Sema and Raytheon.

“We have substantial assets in terms of our software development companies, both indigenous and from external investments. Many companies such as First Derivatives and Singularity are primarily focused on helping financial services companies develop the products and services they need to win competitive edge in their chosen market sector,” he added.

He described the HBoS E-Commerce Development Centre in Belfast as “an excellent example of the quality of software skills for financial services available in Northern Ireland”.

“The HBoS centre has developed the Corporate Home Office Banking System for Bank of Scotland, making it the first financial institution in the UK to develop a major eBusiness application using Microsoft’s .Net system,” he said.'

At the workshop, up-to-date information about IT trends was provided by Ian Marriott, Research Director at Gartner Research.

Mr Marriott said: “Outsourcing is currently the only segment of the Western European IT services market that continues to grow. Enterprises and IT service providers are beginning to recognise that Northern Ireland provides a highly skilled English talent pool for companies wishing to take work offshore.

“Northern Ireland is well positioned to offer IT services and support to financial services markets, at a lower cost than either Western Europe or the USA,” he added.

Jeremy Fitch said Northern Ireland’s growing reputation for software development has attracted blue-chip companies such as Liberty Mutual, Allstate Corporation/Northbrook Technologies, Schlumberger Sema and Raytheon.

“We have substantial assets in terms of our software development companies, both indigenous and from external investments. Many companies such as First Derivatives and Singularity are primarily focused on helping financial services companies develop the products and services they need to win competitive edge in their chosen market sector,” he added.

He described the HBoS E-Commerce Development Centre in Belfast as “an excellent example of the quality of software skills for financial services available in Northern Ireland”.

“The HBoS centre has developed the Corporate Home Office Banking System for Bank of Scotland, making it the first financial institution in the UK to develop a major eBusiness application using Microsoft’s .Net system,” he said.'NI commissioned Gartner Research, one of the world’s leading IT research organisations, to assist local companies identify specific opportunities within the financial services sector at a workshop in Belfast on May 7.


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