IBM is famous for being forward thinking, innovative and fast moving. Yet their European base is in a compact capital city on the edge of the continent.
Olesja Darnopiha works for IBM and tells us why big technology companies are finding settling in Dublin so attractive.
When I first left Latvia, I lived in London. And I still love it there, but only to visit. I stayed there for only 8 months before moving to Dublin - a much better fit for me. The pace here is easy-going and relaxed which means that after a challenging and busy working week, I can really unwind. I think this more balanced life has given me the space and confidence to grow my career.”
With business operations in more than 170 countries and a network of almost half a million employees spanning the globe, IBM is a true industry giant. But unlike other household tech brands such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, LinkedIn or Facebook, the company’s relationship with Ireland is far from new. In fact, it started more than 50 years ago when IBM opened their first office in Dublin in 1956. In 2015, they have more than 3,000 staff in Ireland, working on national, European and global projects.
In their own words, IBM’s working culture is one of ‘unity rather than uniformity’. They encourage their staff to innovate by thinking radically, having new ideas and to make an impact.
What part does multiculturalism have to play?
IBM creates an intentionally multicultural environment; not only because of our need for bi- and tri- lingual staff, but also so that we can gain new business perspectives from other cultures. Diversity in leadership is also very important as senior staff can learn from the different approaches of their international peers,” says Olesja.
Dublin’s young and skilled population helps too. Innovation comes from creativity and where creativity and technology meet there are endless possibilities for breakthrough ideas.
What sets Dublin apart from other European capitals?
Ireland has a long history of welcoming global corporations to settle there. High quality education and investment in computer technology have been transforming the digital and computing landscape in Ireland since the 1990s economic boom. At the same time, companies like IBM, Microsoft and Google were generating their own IT talent. This talent spread to start-ups and leadership in smaller companies, and helped create the city’s international reputation. This has given Dublin the competitive edge. Olesja explains: “Technology companies are attracted to Dublin because of the constant stream of highly skilled graduates; they can look for IT people and find what they need almost immediately.”
Ireland has a long history of welcoming global corporations to settle there. High quality education and investment in computer technology have been transforming the digital and computing landscape in Ireland since the 1990s.
Technology companies are attracted to Dublin because of the constant stream of highly skilled graduates; they can look for IT people and find what they need almost immediately.”
Time zones are also in Ireland’s favour with its position on the western edge of Europe making the time difference to the USA shorter than any other European country.
Combining those factors with a single currency and a powerful workforce, you have the perfect conditions for international investment.
Do you want to work for a company like IBM?
Find out more about studying Computer Science at University College Dublin.