A new survey has found most technology companies in Ireland are planning to expand their businesses and take on employees this year.

However, the study also found that the firms are facing a range of challenges, including scaling up their businesses, recruiting employees and accessing funding.

Commissioned by AIB, and carried out by Amárach Consulting, in partnership with the Irish Internet and Software Associations, the study surveyed over 100 technology businesses.

It found last year was a good one for most businesses, with three quarters increasing their turnover by a third on average.

Over half made a profit, while a third lost money.

A majority of those who made money had a turnover above €2m, were in business over five years and had more than ten employees.

Looking ahead to this year, almost all the firms said they planned to expand their businesses, and three quarters said they would increase their workforce.

However, they identified a range of challenges, including scaling their business, recruiting employees and accessing equity.

A fifth of them also felt the banking sector did not understand the technical nature of their businesses.

AIB's Head of Business Banking Ken Burke said the findings clearly show the growth potential of the technology sector in Ireland and the capacity of Irish companies to compete in a rapidly-changing global market. 

"This report demonstrates that start-ups and SMEs in the technology sector are poised for major expansion and job creation and the banking industry must respond positively to support our indigenous companies to capitalise on the opportunities ahead," he said.