This is according to EMC Ireland vice-president and general manager, Bob Savage, who said that Ireland must accept where it went wrong over the years and learn from it.
He also said that we need to build on the visits of US President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth and not just reflect on them.
“Going forward in this economy is going to demand from all of us a significant period of hard work.”
Ireland needs to improve on its “customer experience” offering which has fallen back recently.
“Taxis, restaurants, golf clubs, hotels, we have really got to up our game because that is where we will differentiate ourselves from other regions,” he said.
Mr Savage, who was speaking at the Cork Chamber Business Breakfast in association with the Irish Examiner, said that if Ireland is to make cloud computing a success, it is “imperative” that there is development of broadband.
He also said that access at Cork Airport should be improved. “For executives, it’s not that easy to get here and for executives and customers from other countries, we must make it as easy as possible to get them here and get them back.”
From the point of view of entrepreneurship, we need to create and accept a culture of it’s okay to fail, Mr Savage said.
He said the country has other challenges such as the cost of energy.
Mr Savage believes Ireland can be the gateway to the EU for economies such as China and Brazil. “As a small economy, we must focus on things we’re good at, that are relevant and that will make a difference.
“Think about Ireland, think about our culture. We get on with everybody. Our language and our timezone. We can really touch the business world during the working day.”
EMC employs 2,500 people in Ireland and has been operating here for 24 years.
Mr Savage said the company wants to move forward in a way that it ensures it is attracting top staff and is also a part of the community.
He said we can never put too much emphasis on maths and science and the key is to “start early”. EMC is getting involved in the BT Young Scientist competition next year in a bid to “make maths and science matter”.
The EMC executive said that Ireland is a great place to start a business, adding that it is very important for individuals to upskill.