The European Commission published the results of the 2021 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) earlier this month. Ireland ranks 5th of the 27 EU countries in the 2021 edition preceded only by Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands.
The index shows that:
Ireland performs very well on the integration of digital technology, and maintains its high scores in the use of e-commerce by SMEs e.g. indicators for SMEs selling online and across borders are well above the EU averages.
Ireland’s performance for connectivity improved substantially in 2020 – fixed very high capacity network (VHCN) coverage rocketed from 35% to 83%.
Ireland also scored well for digital public services, scoring a perfect 100 for providing digital public services for citizens and businesses.
Although Ireland performs above EU average for advanced digital skills (e.g. ICT Specialists, female ICT specialist and ICT graduates) the basic digital skills of the population are a little lower than the EU average – 53% against 56%.
Ireland has a national coalition for digital skills and jobs led by the Irish Computer Society.
Ireland allocated €64 million of the national Recovery and Resilience Plan to Human Capital, or around 20% of its digital budget (above the EU average of 17%).
You can read the full DESI 2021 report for Ireland here.
The main findings for the EU were:
Digital skills: 56% of individuals in the EU have at least basic digital skills. The data shows a slight increase in ICT specialists in employment: In 2020, the EU had 8.4 million compared to 7.8 million a year earlier. The data indicates a clear need to increase training offers and opportunities, in order to reach the targets for skills in the Digital Decade.
There is still a substantial gender gap in advanced digital skills: only 19% of ICT specialists and 33% of STEM graduates are female.
There has been a large increase in usage of cloud technologies (from 16% of companies in 2018 to 26% in 2020). Nevertheless, only a fraction of enterprises use advanced digital technologies (14% big data, 25% AI and 26% cloud).
See the breakdown for each of the 27 countries and the full report here.