US IT firms outline Belfast expansion plans

Proofpoint set up in Belfast back in 2014 and is based at Weavers Court in Belfast. Pictured are: Gary Steele, Proofpoint CEO, David Saunders, software engineer and; Alastair Hamilton, then CEO of Invest NI
Gareth McKeown

A US cyber security firm has outlined plans to grow its Belfast team as the city's IT sector continues to go from strength to strength.

California-headquartered Proofpoint set up in the city in 2014, as part of a £6 million investment, creating 94 jobs. Now the Belfast office is one of the company's largest outside of America, with plans in place to increase staff numbers at its Weavers Court base in the near future.

Tom Keating, Belfast site leader at Proofpoint believes the city is the perfect location for the business.

"We anticipate further growth as we continue to be the centre of excellence," he said.

"It has been very encouraging to see Northern Ireland acknowledged for its cybersecurity expertise and has reaffirmed our decision to grow our presence here.

“Local universities, technical colleges and meet up groups have created an environment for technical talent to flourish. For those who are interested in pursuing a career in this area, there is a wealth of exciting job opportunities. Our Belfast team play a key role in protecting some of the best-known brands and largest companies in the world from cyber-attacks and work with some of the best minds in the industry globally."

The planned expansion at Proofpoint in Belfast comes as a new report from shows demand for IT roles is forecast to rise significantly in Northern Ireland in the near future.

Frances Lawther, senior technical recruiter at Colorado-headquartered, SpotX believes Belfast has developed into a "major hub" for global IT companies, with the firm also expanding its engineering office here.

"SpotX, a video advertising platform that unifies TV and digital video, opened an office in Belfast after recognising the exemplary tech talent available in the city," Mr Lawther said.

"It’s crucial for our business to employ the best engineers and developers in order to provide products and services for top broadcasters, advertising agencies and brands globally.

“Belfast has evolved into a major hub for IT companies, so the demand and competition from companies seeking software engineering and related skills are extremely high. Candidates now have a wealth of different career options.”

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