Sidero – Ireland's software, cloud and digital transformation specialist – today announces that it has invested €400,000 in its graduate placement and internship programme over the past 12 months. The investment underscores the software specialist′s commitment to collaborating with the education sector to help develop the next generation of IT workers in Ireland and narrow the technology skills gap.
Since 2018, Sidero has invested more than €1 million in the initiative. As well as attending and hosting career fairs, the Athlone-based technology company has hired 25 graduates and offered 10 internship placements through the programme. A number of new internships will be offered in 2021.
Through the initiative, the company has also established strong links with third-level institutions in surrounding regions, including the Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).
Sidero is collaborating with these institutions to provide feedback and input to help develop highly relevant and up-to-date software and technology courses for those who want to work in the industry. This includes supporting the creation of a new cloud native module and assisting in the redesign of the engineering courses at AIT, all with the aim of better equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the modern workplace.
In addition to offering support and help to universities and institutes, Sidero encourages continuous professional development of its own team members, with several staff taking up postgraduate courses over the past two years.
Natasha Rohan, Work Placement Co-ordinator of the BEng (Hons) Software and Electronic Course at GMIT, said: "Sidero has provided many of our students with a very hands-on, positive learning experience. The company enables aspiring software developers and engineers to work on real-life projects, gain invaluable experience and get an insight into the role of a software engineer in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
"As well as exposure to exciting technologies and their application in innovative business solutions, Sidero also provides students with a mentor for support and advice. With a strong focus on teamwork and professional development, all of our students who have been offered roles as graduate engineers have been delighted to return to Sidero – which shows that the placement has been a success for all involved!"
Dr. Enda Fallon, Head of Department of Computer and Software Engineering at Athlone Institute of Technology, said, "Athlone Institute of Technology has a long and productive relationship with Sidero since the company was first established in Athlone. Working with Sidero on fundamental and applied research projects has create a depth of shared knowledge which has informed programme delivery. Undergraduate and masters programs in the areas of artificial intelligence, cloud native computing and cyber security creates a stream of industry graduates with the specific skills required by Sidero."
Aisling O'Shea Mannion, HR Manager, Sidero, said: "We pride ourselves on being specialists in solving business problems through software innovation – and while software provides the foundation to our success, working with the most skilled developers is what puts us at the forefront of the industry. By developing the skills of prospective and existing employees, and combining diverse skillsets within the team, we are better equipped to help our customers adapt and thrive in an ever-evolving business landscape."
Sidero, Ireland's software, cloud and digital transformation specialist, today announces the appointment of Carmel Owens as its Chief Executive Officer. Carmel brings an excellent track record in business growth and more than 20 years of experience in the technology sector to her new position.
Founded in Athlone in 2013, Sidero builds transformative technology solutions and services for businesses, specialising in solving key challenges through software innovation. As well as a headcount of 150 people, the company has enjoyed considerable growth, with revenue rising 25% year-on-year to €14 million per annum.
As CEO, Carmel will assume responsibility for shaping Sidero's strategy, increasing market share and spearheading the overall growth of the company. In addition to expanding Sidero's customer base and enhancing its relationship with leading global technology partners such as AWS and Ericsson, Carmel will also be involved in ensuring the wellbeing of staff and delivering service excellence for clients.
"I'm thrilled and privileged to have been appointed as CEO of Sidero", said Carmel Owens. "Sidero has been quietly successful in delivering innovative software solutions from the heart of Ireland that are powering some of the world's most successful companies. I'm looking forward to taking the company to the next level of growth and bringing our cloud expertise, agile approach and high-performance platforms to more companies across the island of Ireland."
Carmel is highly experienced in the technology industry, having held numerous senior executive roles with both indigenous and multinational technology leaders, including SQS (Expleo), Version 1 and Dell EMC. Most recently, she held the role of EMEA Vice President of Sales at Sungard Availability Services.
Carmel's experience of successfully growing businesses dates back to her time as founding member and Sales Director of Irish IT distributor Commtech, where she drove early growth for the company which was ultimately acquired by US firm Arrow Electronics in 2017. Previously holding head of sales roles for regions across EMEA, Carmel also has experience in expanding business footprints into new markets. She established Version 1's Northern Ireland business division in 2011 and will leverage her knowledge and experience in Northern Ireland to grow Sidero's business there.
Irish business is adopting new technology at an ever faster pace, fuelled by digital transformation in the long term and the Covid-19 pandemic in the short. With a skills shortage in full effect, the issue of how best to attract new people into the technology sector and how to retrain those already there has never been more pressing. According to Bob Savage, vice-president and Cork site leader for Dell Technologies Ireland, technology is becoming more important in the broader economy and the answer to meeting the skills shortage this is causing lies in establishing stronger links between academia and industry.
"Over the past five years, we've seen strong growth driven by demand for programmers, technicians and engineers, and this demand for digital skills has fuelled greater collaboration between industry and academia in order that we remain a leader in skills, talent, innovation, and inclusion," he said.
"Munster Technological University's masters in cloud computing is a great example of a programme that was created out of this sense of collaboration to help upskill Ireland's workforce and ensure we can continue attracting foreign direct investment in Ireland."
According to Savage, Ireland needs to ensure it is harnessing the skills, talents and experiences of everyone interested, irrespective of their background or gender. "That's why we have worked closely with Technology Ireland's Software Skillnet to help roll out Women KickSTART, a 15-week programme of training, mentoring, and work experience that enables women from any background to gain new skills and insights into the technology sector," he said.
"Our team members have been integral to the programme's success, providing mentorship and sharing their own personal experiences of working in the technology sector. Of those who have completed the programme, 92 per cent have gained employment immediately."
Dell Technologies has also made a special effort to try to persuade school-aged girls to choose Stem (science, technology, education, and maths) subjects. Currently only 22 per cent of those studying computer science at second level are girls, and a similar percentage go on to third level to study the subject.
"Through our Stem Aspire programme, our team members have been encouraging female students to complete their studies and to consider careers within the Stem fields by providing them with direct access to mentors and role models within the company," said Savage.
"By connecting female students with female mentors working in STEM, we hope to inspire students to transition from third-level education into the technology sector." According to Mary Cleary, general secretary of the Irish Computer Society, it is important for the future of the sector that paths are made available for people to retrain and upskill themselves.
"We are always going to need people with the base-level degree but increasingly we're also going to need people who are specialised past that. This is the notion of the T-shaped career, where a person has a base degree, a broad qualification of the kind you'd get from a computer science degree with, and then they would specialise as they move up through the education pyramid," she said.
"There will always be a demand for that baseline qualification but people also need further training, whether it's on the job or continuous professional development, or whether it's through a masters or post grad course." According to Cleary, the areas currently experiencing skills shortages have remained consistent in recent years.
"The same areas come up again and again – data analytics, anything to do with big data and the cloud. Overall, the management of data is critical and every business needs some element of data management and data analytics," she said. "Artificial intelligence is kind of a buzzword but it's also a growth area. Even small companies are using elements of artificial intelligence."
Another area seeing demand at the moment is that of data protection. "The whole area of data protection and privacy is really very important. And that's an area that's going to grow in scope and importance. It's not just an IT issue – it's deeply embedded into lots of sectors and in lots of areas. The whole idea of privacy-by-design is critical," said Cleary.
According to Aisling O'Shea Mannion of Sidero, it's important for business to have strong ties to education.
"We have a very strong relationship with the Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), and it's very closely located to us, but we also have strong links with other higher education institutes and over the last number of years, we've collaborated quite a bit. We've worked with NUI Galway and with the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology [GMIT]," she said.
"More recently, we started collaborating with the National College of Ireland as well, in theory, in Dublin, but obviously the pandemic has caused issues."
For Sidero, this collaboration takes the form of working with the various college's career's officers, talking to graduates and interns, getting involved in tech talks and ultimately employing graduates as well.
"We've worked most with AIT and there, we've provided feedback and input with regards to their software and technology courses. The aim there is to ensure that they get the right skills coming onto the market. So we supported the creation of the new cloud native module that they have in place," O'Shea Mannion said.
"We've also assisted them in redesigning some of their other software engineering courses. And again, it's all about ensuring that when the students come out of the Institute, that they're ready for the workplace."
To further help students and make them as career-ready as possible, Sidero staff have helped with additional support, such as facilitating communication skills, CV writing and interviewing skills clinics with software design students.
"Being employable is about more than just technical skills, it's also about having the right 'soft' skills that they need to bring into IT roles. These are just as important," O'Shea Mannion said.
Almost 70 per cent of organisations already using cloud will increase their cloud spending after a year of Covid-19 disruption, according to research by Gartner
A decade after it first began to gain traction, cloud in all its various manifestations has become the new normal. Back then, chief executives who had grown tired of on-premise IT and costly refresh cycles were drawn to the agility and scale of pay-as-you-go services – Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – but it required a seismic shift to technology that was still nascent. Adoption was slow.
"We had been having conversations over a period of time with boards about remote working that has now been forced upon them," Carmel Owens, chief executive, Sidero, said. She is now starting to see the same organisations turn their attention to the post-Covid world. "The senior management teams are recognising that cloud and IT can be a source of competitive advantage rather than a cost to be managed, that it could play a more critical role in making business strategies successful." With cloud comes a change in the IT mindset – what Owens described as a shift towards products and platforms rather than projects.
To learn more about how Sidero can help to solve your business problems through technology innovation, contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As we approach the new year, businesses face an entirely different set of challenges and circumstances to those present a mere 12 months ago. It is more important than ever to extract the maximum value and outcomes from IT systems and software. Sidero's cloud expertise, agile approach and high-performance platforms and people mean the company is ideally positioned to help enterprises navigate a clear path to success and growth in 2021.
With a highly experienced and accredited team of 150, Sidero builds innovative technology solutions and services for some of the most successful Irish and global companies. From cloud deployment and software development to process automation and data analytics, Sidero digitally transforms businesses to grant them a competitive advantage. The company's success is built on the deep trust of its customer base in Sidero's specialist digital skills and expertise
Sidero, founded in Athlone in 2013, is ideally placed to build on its growth and create further skilled regional employment opportunities, having increased employee numbers by an average of 35 per cent per annum for the past seven years.
Its talented team is also highly accredited, and as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, Sidero is increasingly building, deploying and running cloud-native software to deliver the intuitive applications and experience that users want, at the pace that businesses need.
This year has demonstrated the importance of business agility. Companies able to adapt quickly to unprecedented market changes have continued to succeed, while those slow or unable to evolve have been left struggling. Sidero enables companies to change faster than their competitors by utilising its DevOps experience and specialist methodologies to massively accelerate software development and rollout.
Carmel Owens, chief executive officer of Sidero, said: "We've created Ireland's best team of cloud-native software developers to build the mission-critical software that powers some of the world's most successful enterprises.
"They choose us because we offer the cutting-edge talent they need to change faster, easier and more profitably; but they stay with us long term because we deliver every time."
A key facet of digital transformation is recognising that both businesses and customers are increasingly living in an online world. Truly responding to this means doing more than dipping a toe in the water of video conferencing or moving productivity applications to the web, though.
In order to fully take advantage of the cloud, businesses need to go 'cloud native', Carmel Owens, chief executive of Sidero, said.
But what does this actually mean?
In practical terms, it's simple: developing business applications and services that not only run in the cloud, but are created with a methodology designed specifically for the cloud and to deliver the agility that it promises.
"Often we think about the cloud as a place, but cloud-native is an approach to development and how applications are developed and deployed, not where," Owens said.
Cloud-native is becoming more important, she said, because people are used to continuous improvement. Daily use of websites and phone apps have increased user expectations: processes should work, work fast and work simply.
They should also be improved whenever improvements can be made, not according to a calendar.
Now development can be continuous – and it can also be interactive.
"In the past, there were huge release cycles for software. What cloud-native allows us to do is to change he way that companies build and deploy their apps, including by incorporating user feedback," she said.
This applies even to organisations working in the business-to-business sector. After all, these businesses are staffed by Android and iOS-owning consumers just like any other, and so they have developed the same expectations.
The fundamental goal is delivering applications that users want at the pace that businesses need.
"If you want to steal a march on your competition, you need to move quickly," said Owens.
Founded in Athlone in 2013, Sidero is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, with more than 40 accredited consultants and deploys software that builds, deploys and runs cloud-native software in order to exploit the flexibility promised by cloud computing.
Owens also said that while migrating existing software can be done, it may not be the right option.
"There's been a lot of focus on moving to the cloud, being hosted in the cloud, but that's different from cloud-native."
With migrations, Sidero look to what AWS has dubbed the 'six Rs': rehost (lifts and shift), replatform (for example, moving to a new database), repurchase (change altogether), refactor or rearchitect (moving from a monolith application to more flexible ones), retire, and finally, or retain.
Each has its pros and cons, so a serious examination of business goals is called for.
"If you rehost some of your legacy apps in the cloud you do get some advantages, but it's still the same old software," said Owens.
Large enterprises often have an investment in legacy technology, but Owens said that their customers and suppliers are pushing them to move.
"Nobody wants to host large farms of infrastructure anymore. We're seeing a certain amount of ground-up development and then there's the question of replacing or migrating legacy systems. Someone like Sidero can come in and build a plan and then deploy it," she said.
In the abstract, the goal of opening to new markets, becoming agile and delivering more is straightforward, but cloud-native application requires specific skills – and cultural change.
DevOps, for example, attempts to merge software development and operations. This methodology is hugely popular, but it is also a radical departure from separate teams developing and running software that is developed on a fixed calendar-based schedule of planned updates.
"Typically, these companies have development capability in-house, they have their own teams. Moving to a devOps [model], that's a culture change.
"If you implement devOps you have to restructure and retrain," Owens said.
"There's a skills gap, too, with things like Kubernetes, Docker and devSecOps [the merger of development security and operations]. These are new skills," she said.
On the other hand, she said, it brings major benefits – not least among which is security.
"It's continuous deployment, that's what you're trying to get to. You get daily or weekly software drops. When you're developing code, you're trying to secure the applications and that's a consideration from day one. It's secure by design.
"Rather than handing it over to the security officers, it's part of the developing cycle," she said.
Sidero Technology Solutions announced today that they have been awarded a Select Consulting Partner status in the AWS Partner Network (APN). Sidero's enhanced partner status is a further proof point of the company's capabilities, building on its significant investment in technical resource development, a successful customer reference base and delivering migrations to the cloud.
As an APN Select Consulting Partner, Sidero will assist clients with design, architecture development, cloud migration and management of their workloads and applications on AWS.
"Sidero has been designing and implementing complex enterprise software solutions for our clients for the last 6 years. Achieving the APN Select Consulting Partner tier is a major milestone in our growth plans and further validates our ability to architect and deploy enterprise applications to our client base. We plan to grow significantly in 2019 and see enormous opportunity in the Irish and UK markets as AWS deployments continue to grow at a rapid pace." – John Mee, CEO, Sidero.
Sidero has become an industry member of the award winning National Centre for Applied Data Analytics and Machine Intelligence at University College
Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology. Sidero will join over 80 other industry partners ranging from blue-chip multi-nationals to indigenous SMEs spanning every industry vertical in the creation and exploitation of Data Analytics and AI based prototypes, demonstrators, technology reviews, and translational research for its members.
CeADAR has recently been awarded the prestigious BDVA i-Spaces appellation. i-Spaces are trusted Europe-wide data incubators targeted to accelerate take-up of data driven innovation in commercial sectors like Manufacturing 4.0, Logistics, eCommerce, Media, Aerospace, Automobile, Energy, Agriculture and Pharmacy. In addition to conducting transformational research, the centre also supports the wider industrial and research community with a range of events, including workshops aimed at bringing together researchers working inin Data Analytics and Machine Intelligence systems as well as fostering multi-disciplinary collaborations. Sidero and CeADARwill collaborate and focus on creating solutions for its customers based on emerging and innovative technologies such as machine learning, deep learning on very large data sets and predictive analytics for large scale mission critical systems. This membership and collaboration will be an ideal opportunity for Sidero to create new opportunities and help accelerate the market impact of many of CeADAR's most recent research outputs.
Having an indigenous software services company such as Sidero as members of CeADAR provides an enormous potential to accelerate the commercialisation
of many of our research assets and provides much needed support for translational research into Applied Data Analytics and Machine Intelligence
in Ireland, said Dr Edward McDonnell, Centre Director, CeADAR Centre for Applied Data Analytics John Mee, Director, Sidero said: We are very excited to become members of this market driven technology centre focused on analytics and AI as we believe it helps us solve many of the key technical challenges
associated with delivering digital transformational software solutions and services to our customers in the telecom, financial services and critical
infrastructure market segments.
About Sidero Technology Solutions
Sidero is a Software Engineering Services company specialising in providing digital transformation support and end to end software development
services for large scale enterprise-based systems. The company based in Athlone was formed in 2013 and has a core business of providing expert software
development and services to augment and support customers in areas such as Systems Architecture, Design and Implementation, Cloud Deployment,
Business Intelligence and Data Analytics, System Test and Integration and Agile project management.
CeADAR is the award-winning National Centre for Applied Data Analytics and Machine Intelligence. It is a market-driven technology centre for the
development, and deployment of data analytics and AI technology and innovation. The Centre's work focuses on developing tools, techniques and technologies that enable more people, organisations and industries to use analytics/AI/IoT for better decision making and competitive advantage. CeADAR is funded by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and by translational research. The Centre is hosted in University College Dublin in partnership
with the Dublin Institute of Technology. Industry membership of CeADAR has grown significantly and now totals 80 industry partners ranging from blue-chip multi-nationals to indigenous SMEs spanning every industry vertical.
About Sidero Technology Solutions
Sidero Technologies was founded in Athlone in 2013 and today is home to one of Ireland's most accredited and experienced teams of Software Engineers and Cloud Experts. Currently standing at 150 people, Sidero builds mission critical software for some of the most successful Irish and global companies. The company was founded by a small team of engineers on the basis of trust and responsiveness. Today, it has a track record of delivering highly successful projects, with an entire organisation that is agile and easy to do business with, ensuring that customers stay for the long term.
Culturally diverse, Sidero has a team of 21 nationalities and is constantly investing in its people. Customers and staff alike love how we have adopted Scrum values as an organisation – Commitment; Courage; Focus; Openness and Respect. Our Midlands base offers key advantages for hiring and retaining the highest quality talent, and we are proud that employee numbers have grown 35% on average per annum for the past 7 years and we are set for further significant growth.
As an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, with 40+ accredited consultants, Sidero is increasingly using Cloud Native to build, deploy and run software that exploits the flexibility of cloud computing, i.e. delivering applications that users want at the pace that business needs.