Friday, August 9, 2013

9/8/2013: Irish ICT Services: Geniuses & Jobs Creators?..

The latest annual services inquiry for Ireland, published yesterday by the CSO and available here: offers a fascinating read into the workings in the bizarrely-distorted world of MNCs-led exporting services in the country.

Here is one interesting set of facts, not shown by the CSO.

As chart above shows, in 2008-2011, Gross Value Added in ICT Services sector in Ireland (the sector heavily dominated by the likes of Google and other tax transfer-driven MNCs) has boomed, rising 30%. This growth, as the Government et al love reminding us, is allegedly translating into jobs, jobs and more jobs.

Alas, the facts speak for themselves:

  • Over 2008-2011 wages and salaries paid out in the sector rose just 8.2% or a tiny fraction of growth in value added.
  • GVA per person engaged in the sector rose 29.9% an
  • d GVA per full time employee rose 31.1% - both by far the fastest rates of growth of any sector in the economy.
  • The numbers engaged in the sector dropped (not rose) in 2008-2011 by 5.0% while numbers of full-time employees in the sector dropped 5.9%.
Can someone explain these miracles to me, please? By anything other than ongoing substitution of activity away from actual production of services toward more tax optimisation?.. Anyone?..

While at it, here is another illustrative chart to consider:

The above shows that Irish ICT Services workers constitute a truly miraculous breed of employees - so vastly more productive than any other type of human being in Ireland. Next time, walking down the Barrow Street, do marvel at all the geniuses walking about.


Brian O' Hanlon said...

GoTo conferences don't get that many hits on YouTube these days, but something like the 'People versus NoSQL', or similar debates from that conference in 2012 or 2013, explain a lot of what is happening in information technology. The odd time one sees a slide about something like Netflix moving into Scandanavia, which is being hosted on one of these swanky new type, 'break all the rules', IT platforms, which in turn is hosted on an Amazon web service host somewhere in Ireland. So in order words, guys in Stockholm getting video on demand via their set top boxes, are receiving a broadcast from here.

It's interesting to compare this actually to what has dominate the newsreel here in Ireland, about our 'national' broadcaster, and our need to 'get over', and 'move on' from the departure of Pat Kenny.

A lot of the real 'value added' (i.e. all of that clever-ness and 'glue' which the Netflix is sitting on top of, is being developed more so in places like London at the moment). But Ireland seems to provide quite a bit of the basic plumbing from which those guys at the 'Goto' conferences can develop on top of, and serve these extremely large and growing online markets. To get an entire overhead from an economic perspective of the kind of 'trade' that is going on between the different regions now in Europe in terms of ICT services, I'd have to learn a lot more about it all. But maybe this gives at least a rough picture.

Brian O' Hanlon said...

Cowhey and Kleeman at San Diego supercomputing centre, along with Larry Smarr ('my job is the live in the future, and report back'), are one of the few working at the edge of this envelope in trying to examine what the new developments in ICT will mean from a point of view of emerging economies.

For reference see,
Or also,

Regards, B.

Brian O' Hanlon said...

This is the kind of thing that may be going on, and would skew some of those figures for productivity in ICT sector in Ireland. It's a kind of clever plumbing thing that is happening more and more in datacentres and the cloud, by the increased use of API's, or application programming interfaces.

"To support automated exchange of information and process integration, many companies expose assets in the hopes of drawing in more revenue, expanding their partner bases in the process. One well-known use case is Netflix’s integration with more than 200 hardware devices, from Roku to Xbox, vastly expanding its subscriber base".

Dournaee, B., Musser, J., Thurai, A., & Woods, D. (May 2012). Enterprise-class API Patterns for Cloud & Mobile. USA: CITO Research .