William Fry: Data regulation has replaced tax rate as top consideration for location decisions

William Fry: Data regulation has replaced tax rate as top consideration for location decisions

David Cullen

Data regulation has replaced tax rate as the most important consideration for international organisations making location decisions, a new global survey by William Fry suggests.

The law firm surveyed over 300 C-suite executives from leading companies around the world and found that tax had fallen from first place among considerations to eighth compared to 2016, while data regulation had taken the top spot.

Ireland was rated good or excellent for data regulation by 92 per cent of respondents, who also endorsed Ireland’s legal regime (97 per cent), language and culture (93 per cent) and political and regulatory stability (90 per cent).

When asked how likely it is that their company will be making significant or further data-related investments in Ireland in the next 18 months, 62 per cent of global C-suite executives said it was likely and a further 31 per cent said it was possible.

David Cullen, partner and head of William Fry’s technology department, said: “Comparing this report with our 2016 study, Europe for Big Data, is fascinating. Data regulation has replaced tax rate – now number eight – as the top driver for location decisions.

“Talent has become even more important as a consideration whilst the importance of a jurisdiction’s legal framework remains at number three. There is also evidence of a significant and favourable shift in attitudes towards Ireland as a suitable location for data related location or investment since our last report in 2016.”

He added: “Whilst our 2016 study found that companies across all industries have become data organisations, our latest report suggests that we are truly part of a data culture; adopting fast-evolving radical new technologies that reflect the changing ways in which we now work and live our lives.

“In today’s world, smart data analysis is, more than ever before, a key differentiator for businesses.”

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