Fujitsu Ireland, the international tech company calls on Government to:
✓ Support a green recovery
✓ Invest in digital services including eGovernment
✓ Target education and skills to close the digital gap
As Ireland enters a recession, Fujitsu is calling on Government to avoid delays or reduce spending on technology projects, but rather capitalise on the unexpected opportunities presented by the pandemic.
In its pre-budget submission, launched today, Fujitsu Ireland outlines that by identifying and implementing targeted digitisation projects both time and money will saved for redeployment to the areas of the civil service most in need. When coupled with a progressive and ambitious digital skills and jobs strategy, and policies that enable a green recovery, Ireland can capitalise on the unexpected opportunities presented by COVID-19 such as remote working.
Fujitsu cautions, however, that this must be done in a way that both fosters user trust and, crucially, supports sustainability, including measures that encourage companies and employees to reduce their carbon footprint. As recognised experts in remote working, Fujitsu believes this is one specific area where significant carbon reductions could be made in both the public and private sector.
Fujitsu is recommending that those companies and organisations that take action to reduce their carbon footprint should be rewarded. This could be done in a number of ways including the award of a Low Carbon Mark / Standard by an appropriate Government agency. Fujitsu is also advocating for the inclusion of criteria within public sector tenders to reward companies who can demonstrate a reduction in their carbon footprint. This has the potential to act as a major motivating factor for businesses to develop more sustainable practices.
In relation to eGovernment, Fujitsu believes that in the short-term, Government’s focus should be on seeking greater collaboration across the public service; accelerating digital delivery of services; workforce planning and safety and an assessment and analysis of skills across the public service.
Fujitsu acknowledges that the changes required to support a Just Transition will likely cause displacement of some workers and the necessary development of a new skill set for other workers. To enable these changes, a dynamic digital skills strategy and its implementation will be vital to ensure the next generation of workers have the requisite skills to secure employment in a transitioned economy in a low carbon future. To achieve this, targeted education and an emphasis on future skills including the development of a progressive national digital strategy will be crucial.
Tony O’Malley, Fujitsu Ireland CEO commented, ‘As a technology partner to Government, we are encouraged by the recognition in the Programme for Government that technology and digital skills can, and must, play a leading role in delivering a green recovery and a Just Transition away from fossil fuels. This must be supported fiscally in Budget 2021 and beyond.
Sustainability must be at the top of our national agenda as we seek to accelerate climate action to boost climate resilience. Technology companies can play a major role in enabling organisations to make these disruptive transitions and, moreover, must lead by example in reducing their carbon footprint.
The benefits of technological change coupled with robust responsible business practices can play a role in both weathering the storm of the economic consequences of COVID-19 and to allow Ireland emerge from the current crisis as a society and an economy that better meets the needs of all its citizens.
We look forward to engaging with the relevant Government Departments and agencies to advance this agenda’.
In order to achieve these goals Fujitsu is recommending a series of actions to Government including:
- In support of a Just Transition, consideration should be given to including criteria within public sector tenders to reward companies who demonstrate a reduction in their carbon footprint
- Fujitsu would welcome the development of a national carbon reduction standard/mark administered by a government agency, which could be awarded to those companies who significantly reduce their carbon over a 3-5 year period
- Government must encourage measures which enable dynamic, suitable and secure remote working, including increasing tax relief for remote working, broadband infrastructure investment, investment in remote hubs and a public information campaign to mitigate against the heightened cyber threat landscape
- Fujitsu would welcome all measures which seek to close the digital skills gap in key areas of human centric design, security, data science and IT architecture.
The full document can be accessed here
About Fujitsu Ireland
Part of a global network, Fujitsu Ireland is an information and communication technology (ICT) company, providing solutions to a diverse range of public and private blue-chip organisations. Together with customers and partners, we collaborate and co-create to take advantage of the benefits that digital disruption brings. Our products and services positively touch 99% of the population and approximately 129,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We strive to be the employer and partner of choice by using our global presence to deliver effectively locally.
We honour our Japanese culture by building long-term relationships and giving our customers a unique people-centric approach to innovation, where everyone everywhere is empowered with digital technology.
In Ireland, our trusted team of nearly 300 employees are helping our customers in all sectors, driving their digital transformation. Our goal is not only to deliver great results for our customers, it’s also to be a responsible business that respects its customers, employees and suppliers. We are a proud member of Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), achieving the Business Working Responsibly Mark. Our team is dedicated to supporting our local communities working in partnership with St Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush.
Date: 24 September, 2020