Cloud computing to grow 40pc a year in Irish market to 2014

23 Nov 2010

Cloud computing in the Irish market will grow from a small base at the rate of 40pc a year until 2014, according to a new study by IDC. Lack of awareness and poor understanding have so far hindered growth.

Cloud software services are set for strong growth in the Irish market in the coming years as early adopters sign up for the new world order of cloud computing. Annual growth will average 40pc for the period 2009–2014 off an admittedly small base.

However, a major campaign of user education will be required if there is to be mainstream adoption of cloud computing in the Irish market, according to a major new research study by IDC. There is a lack of awareness and understanding of cloud computing, with 36pc of survey respondents unfamiliar with the term and its meaning and a further 27pc claiming only a partial understanding.

Cloud computing is, therefore, at an early stage of market development. The survey found there is a lack of appreciation of the potential benefits of cloud computing, though, as is often the case with new technologies, there is much more clarity on the perceived challenges, with security, performance and availability the key challenges named by organisations surveyed by IDC.

The small numbers of organisations that have embraced cloud computing already claim that cost reduction has been their primary motivator, though productivity enhancement and improved scalability were also key factors.

Cloud momentum

Virtualisation adoption has maintained considerable momentum even in the midst of the recession. Cost saving is the primary driver of virtualisation in the Irish market and well ahead of other considerations, such as ease of management and maintenance or features and functionality.

Just under than a fifth of all servers have been virtualised at this stage, but among those that have embraced the technology, the figure is close to half.

A positive message for suppliers is the indication from customers that their virtualisation programmes are continuing. Cost and complexity are the key challenges to virtualisation, according to those who are investigating the technology for potential investment.

Desktop virtualisation is the next big opportunity for suppliers, with 43pc of large organisations having plans to implement in the coming year.

“Cloud computing is in its infancy in the Irish market and the fact that many potential customers don’t have a full understanding of the implications for their IT environments suggests that the education of the market needs to be stepped up before there is mainstream market adoption,” explained IDC consultant John Gilsenan.

“Nonetheless, growth of 40pc per annum will be driven by early adopters who have done their homework and embraced the concept. The virtualisation market has continued to be a positive for suppliers with adoption continuing during the downturn,” Gilsenan said.

The IDC study ‘Cloud Computing and Virtualisation in Ireland, 2010’ was based on a number of inputs, including a survey which interviewed respondents responsible for IT in 300 Irish organisations, a survey of attendees at IDC’s Cloud Computing and Virtualisation conference, held in May 2010, and IDC’s ongoing analysis of the Irish IT market.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years