Cloud can deliver cheaper, better public services – Kenny

8 Sep 2011

Cloud computing can reduce the cost of Government and improve the quality of public services, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, said today at the opening of The 2011 Cloud Computing Summit in Croke Park.

Referring to the National Competitiveness Council report published in January which identified cloud computing as a key area to invest in and promote, Kenny said Ireland’s size would help it adapt to the technology more easily: “We’re small enough to be sufficiently flexible to cater for that,” he said.

He acknowledged that the public sector would have to adjust to change but he believed it was up to the task. “In my view, if you challenge them at the beginning, they will produce a response in time. The public service has enormous capacity to assist in this,” he said. “Cloud computing can reduce the cost of Government and improve the quality of public services.”

He said this goal dovetails with the Government’s ambition to be “the best small country in which to do business in the world” by 2016. An Taoiseach called on the IT sector to work with the Government to identify areas to be tackled. “I want to see Government work with the public and private enterprises to make that a reality … Where are the buttons that Government has to press to make this happen?”

He added: “Cloud computing can send a signal that this country on the north-west edge of Europe can be a leader. Government is not going to sit on the sidelines and let this drift by.”

Paul Rellis, managing director of Microsoft Ireland, said healthcare was one such area where cloud computing could benefit. Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has implemented a bed management system across wards and is running this in the cloud.

The system was set up in just 13 weeks and has replaced sticky notes and paper records as a way of allocating beds to patients. “There are organisations already using the technology to solve real problems such as waiting lists for hospitals … it would be great to see that rolled out in this part of the island,” said Rellis.

Photo: Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic