Irish Net Users Get Their Heads in the Cloud

By Alan McDonnell
Alan McDonnell
Alan McDonnell
July 2, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
CLOUD POWER: A stand hostess holds up a Samsung tablet PC on the first day of the CeBIT 2012 technology trade fair on March 6th, 2012 in Hanover, Germany. Advances in cloud computing and security were major features at the fair this year
CLOUD POWER: A stand hostess holds up a Samsung tablet PC on the first day of the CeBIT 2012 technology trade fair on March 6th, 2012 in Hanover, Germany. Advances in cloud computing and security were major features at the fair this year (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Salesforce.com, the enterprise cloud computing company, announced plans this week to add more than 100 new jobs in Dublin to meet the demands of continued growth in Ireland. The company is immediately looking to hire qualified professionals in sales, marketing, IT and customer support functions.

In further developments this week, University College Cork announced that it will partner with Dell and VMware to set up a cloud computing incubator, allowing smaller firms the chance to apply cloud in their businesses—free of charge. Efforts are underway to encourage cloud-based enterprises both north and south of the border: the BBC reported this week that cloud could bring 16,000 jobs to Northern Ireland over the next few years. 

The Salesforce.com announcement was made in Dublin on Friday by Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD, and salesforce.com’s EMEA chairman, Dr Steve Garnett. IDA Ireland has worked with salesforce.com on its developments in Ireland since it first established operations in Dublin in 2000.

Cloud computing allows users to store and use files and applications via the internet. It is seen as a boon for businesses and consumers alike, as it can free up resources by allowing users to rent software rather than buy it, and to store their files on remote servers rather than buying those servers themselves. Retail and service providers often find cloud computing particularly attractive in their efforts to improves services and reduce costs.

Indeed, new research published this week by Cisco shows a dramatic shift in attitudes towards cloud computing in the UK and Ireland. The report, Cisco CloudWatch 2012, is the second in Cisco’s annual Cloud series and finds IT decision makers in bullish mood, increasingly placing applications and services from across their business into the cloud, and planning for further investment over the coming 12 months.

“The government is targeting high-growth companies and high-growth sectors as part of our Action Plan for Jobs. Today’s very welcome announcement that salesforce.com, a dynamic company operating at the cutting edge of social, mobile and cloud computing, is creating 100 additional jobs in Dublin shows what is possible in these sectors,” said Mr Bruton on Thursday. “I am determined to ensure that we continue to take advantage of our ICT strengths to attract more investments and create the jobs we need.”

“Salesforce.com is very much a pioneer of cloud computing, and its growth over recent years has been very impressive. Ireland has been a key location for the company in its global expansion and it is great to see this further enhanced in this latest expansion,” said Mr Barry O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer at IDA Ireland.

Silver Lining

The message that cloud computing can deliver significant cost reductions is now resonating with the IT community, and cost saving has become a top driver for adopting the technology.

Security still remains the number one concern when putting services and applications in the cloud. According to Cisco, however, that concern is noticeably less pronounced than in last year’s report, and the use of public cloud is up 11 per cent, although private cloud still dominates.

Key findings of Cisco’s study include:

IT decision makers say that cloud is now on their agenda—a resounding 90 per cent, up from just 52 per cent in 2011;

Of this number, 31 per cent consider cloud as being critical and underpinning much of the organisations’ activity (this was just 7 per cent in 2011);

Of those organisations where cloud is on the agenda, 85 per cent are planning further investment in the next twelve months;

In CloudWatch 2011, reducing cost ranked fifth in a list of most important things when considering cloud—in the 2012 report, it ranks as the number one priority;

There was a 20 per cent reduction in concerns over security (52 per cent in 2012 compared to 72 per cent in 2011);

54 per cent of respondents currently use private cloud (up from 34 per cent in 2011), and public cloud usage is up from 18 per cent in 2011 to 29 per cent in 2012.

Cisco commissioned independent research amongst IT decision makers across a broad range of vertical sectors including retail, finance, healthcare, public sector and service providers. The results clearly show that cloud has moved from hype to reality, with cloud now seen as a mainstream element of IT strategy.

Mr Ian Foddering, Chief Technology Officer and Technical Director at Cisco UK and Ireland, said: “This new report validates a shift that many of us in the IT industry have been witnessing first hand over the last 6-12 months. Cloud usage has now gone mainstream. After several years of ‘hype’ across the IT industry, it now seems that cloud is maturing and organisations across a broad range of sectors are realising the benefits of moving to a cloud model.

“Against this backdrop it’s encouraging to see progressive companies realise the potential of cloud to revolutionise their respective industries. All these signs point towards a well-established market where the previously blurred boundaries of cloud computing are clearing. IT decision makers are now more educated about the distinctions between cloud and managed services, and are more willing to invest,” said Mr Foddering.

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Alan McDonnell
Alan McDonnell