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Technology

Is Ireland’s new government taking Cloud Computing advice from Microsoft?

Is Ireland’s new government taking Cloud Computing advice from Microsoft?
Programme for Government 2011

Credit: Fine Gael 2011

The new Irish government plans to establishment the country as a “leader in the emerging I.T. market of cloud computing”, just as Microsoft suggested it should.

At the beginning of the year Microsoft Ireland published the results of a survey by Goodbody Economic Consultants which looked at the potential benefits of The Cloud to Ireland. The report suggested that private and public bodies in the country need to act quickly to reap the benefits of the cloud computing.

Microsoft’s report said,

“Cloud Computing represents a huge opportunity for Irish firms, public bodies and the economy as a whole. Realising this opportunity depends on moving at a rapid pace so that Ireland can establish itself as a Centre of Excellence for Cloud Computing before any other nation seeks to position itself in this way. The opportunity to create new economic activity and jobs by becoming a world centre for the development and export of Cloud Computing services will only be realised if Irish firms are early to these new world markets. Similarly, Cloud Computing will only improve the competitiveness of the Irish economy if it is adopted early by businesses and public bodies and so lowers our costs and improves our performance relative to international competitors.”

Which sounds strikingly similar to the Fine Gael and Labour Parties’ Programme for Government, published this week, which says;

“We will make Ireland a leader in the emerging I.T. market of cloud computing by promoting greater use of cloud computing in the public sector, organising existing State supports for cloud computing into a package to promote Ireland as a progressive place for I.T. investment, establishing an expert group to address new security and privacy issues arising from the use of cloud computing and reviewing the adequacy of current legislation and identify what steps need to be taken to ensure a supportive regulatory environment.” [sic]

The coalition may be hoping to save the country, as Microsoft’s report suggested, “half a billion euro in operating costs” while also generating and estimated €9.5 billion for the country within the government’s lifetime. To this end the new government’s programme aims to set up what Microsoft called “an exemplar project” by creating an  “expert group” on The Cloud.

The government’s plans also outlines the perceived risks in using Cloud Computing, The Programme says the government will “address new security and privacy issues arising from the use of cloud computing and reviewing the adequacy of current legislation and identify what steps need to be taken to ensure a supportive regulatory environment. [sic]” The Microsoft/Goodbody report found that half of all firms surveyed were concerned for the protection of their data and privacy, there were significant concerns of the legal ownership of corporate private data.

It is, of course, very early days for the new coalition but with both the government and the industry pointing in the same direction (Amazon recently purchased a massive data farm for cloud hosting in Dublin and Google has purchased Ireland’s largest commercial building this year) interesting times are ahead for Ireland’s cloud technology sector.

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@pdscott

Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

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