This is a guest post from Paul Rellis of Microsoft, about the opportunity that Cloud Computing brings for Ireland.
A core Enterprise Ireland focus for 2011 will be helping companies recognize the cloud opportunity, enable business transformation to meet that opportunity, and of course, helping EI clients grow exports and export led jobs. Microsoft, as a multinational is a key part of this ‘BestConnected’ story.
A question on a lot of people’s minds at the moment is where to next for Ireland? What areas do we need to focus on to restore competitiveness? It was for this reason that Microsoft Ireland commissioned an economic impact report by Goodbody Economic Consultants to quantify the opportunities offered by rapidly creating a Cloud Computing Industry in Ireland and to identify the next steps to deliver on its promise. The findings are contained in the report entitled – ‘Ireland’s Competitiveness and Jobs Opportunity: Cloud Computing’ which was published in January.
And the findings are clear. The Cloud Computing Industry will deliver jobs, help restore competitiveness, create new export markets and attract Foreign Direct Investment. It will deliver massive costs savings to the public sector and Irish businesses of all sizes. It will improve Ireland’s reputation globally as an innovative and dynamic country. In other words, Cloud Computing offers many of the solutions to our current challenges. However, this will only happen if we move quickly to implement the right policies, develop the right skills and close the gaps in awareness in the public and private sector. Otherwise, Ireland’s opportunity to capture a large share of the estimated €70 billion global Cloud Computing industry will be missed.
For me, the key findings of the report include:
• Cloud Computing is a major evolving industry that has the potential to create €9.5 billion in annual sales per annum by 2014, providing 8,600 jobs.
• In addition, because Cloud Computing lowers costs to businesses, by migrating to the cloud the report estimates the establishment of an additional 2,000 new non-IT small and medium businesses employing 11,000 people.
• Early adoption of Cloud Computing by Irish users will take costs of €0.5 billion per annum out of Irish organisations.
I firmly believe that Ireland’s economic success in the future will built on home grown indigenous companies. It’s pretty exciting to think that if we put the right infrastructure in place to support the growth of an indigenous Cloud sector, that the next Facebook or Salesforce.com could come out of Ireland. This is one of the reasons that Microsoft has introduced the BizSpark Programme (of which Enterprise Ireland is a BizSpark partner), which is designed to accelerate the success of early stage Startups. Ireland has one of the most successful Bizspark programmes in the world – because we’re a nation of entrepreneurs and I believe that we have the creativity and drive required to create a world class Cloud Computing Sector in Ireland with local talent.
As part of our celebrations to mark 25 years investing in Ireland, we wanted to invest in a study which would contribute to the continuing challenge of Ireland’s competitiveness. It is my firm view that Cloud Computing holds the key to Ireland’s future economic success. I hope that the data provided in this report will encourage technology companies, start ups and entrepreneurs to take a good look at cloud and explore the opportunities that it presents.