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What is Cloud Computing? Cloud Computing explained.

What is Cloud Computing And Its future in the Irish economy?

Through Cloud Computing, businesses gain access to required Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources, such as networks, servers, storage and applications, as needed and delivered as a metered service over the Internet. This model alleviates the need for individual enterprises to invest in their own ITC infrastructure and allows them to scale up or down on demand with minimal effort or service provider interaction.

Ireland is poised to become a major centre for this emerging technology. A recent study by Goodbody Economic Consultants anticipates the sector could create 8,600 new jobs and up to 2,000 new business starts in the Irish economy by 2014.

Cloud computing represents the maturation of the relationship between business, the public sector, and government and the various ICT infrastructures that powers them. No longer must individual entities make capital investments in hardware, software, and the support personnel necessary to establish and maintain their ICT infrastructures. Instead, the functionalities and capabilities these large investments have historically provided organizations will now be reduced to much lower operating costs. This evolution represents a huge paradigm shift as organizations will now be able to focus more of their collective energy and resources on accomplishing their respective missions thanks to increased efficiency and reduced costs.

Cloud computing is still in its infancy, but that is no reason to believe it is any less pivotal to the future of Ireland’s economy than the emerging data processing technology and financial services industries of the 1970’s and ’80’s. Back then, Ireland correctly prognosticated that these would be major areas of opportunity for future investment and positioned itself to attract these firms, many of which grew to become global leaders in their sectors and Ireland’s economy grew right along with them.

Today, Ireland finds itself in a similar position—on the precipice of becoming a global leader in cloud computing. If Irish business, public, and government sectors take the initiative to become early adopters of cloud computing, they will most certainly drive the entire Irish economy to become more competitive on a global scale. The good news is that this is already happening…

- Microsoft EMEA HQ is already located in Dublin along with a $1 billion data centre.

- Google has an EMEA HQ, $300 million worth of data centres, and a cloud and maps RD&I centre in Dublin.

- Amazon has a $300 million data centre in Ireland.

The Global Innovation Survey 2009 ranks Ireland No. 1 in the world for FDI and corporate tax regime and real corporate taxes and the No. 1 country in Europe for business. In addition, Ireland boasts the highest number of workers in the EU who have completed a third level of education along with the highest availability of skilled labour, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Handbook, 2011. Furthermore, the costs of office occupancy is falling (Cushman & Wakefield report, 2011), and office rents have decreased by 42 percent (Goodbody’s Irish Competitiveness Report, 2011). Wages for professional, scientific, and technical workers have also decreased by 10 percent, according to the Central Statistics Office, 2011.

Indeed, Ireland is already a major player on the cloud computing landscape, and with a comprehensive strategy currently being executed to further strengthen its position in the sector, companies around the globe would be well-advised to consider Ireland for the hub of their cloud computing operations.

16.3%

SaaS: Software as a Service.

Provision of software applications running on a cloud infrastructure, to which users gain metered access.

13.0%

Platform as a Service.

Provision of a platform to support deployment of user-controlled applications.

47.9%

Infrastructure as a Service.

Provision of processing, storage, and networks on which users can run their chosen software on the platform of their choice.