Enterprises in Ireland very much at home in the cloud, reports CSO

19 Dec 2014

Close to one-third of Irish enterprises (28pc) that employ more than 10 people purchased cloud services, compared with the EU average of 19pc, according to new research by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

According to the latest CSO research, the most popular cloud computing service bought by Irish enterprises was file storage (20pc), followed respectively by email, database hosting, office software, finance systems, CRM and compute power.

In terms of enterprises purchasing cloud computing services, Ireland ranked fifth in the EU-28. Finland had the largest percentage of enterprises in the EU-28 purchasing cloud computing services at 51pc, 24pc of enterprises in the UK purchased these services, while Romania had the lowest take up rate at 5pc.

Of those Irish enterprises who did not purchase cloud computing services, 30pc of enterprises stated that this was due to insufficient knowledge.

In 2014, 61pc of Irish enterprises used some type of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This compares with 48pc of enterprises in 2013.

The CSO said that data for 2014 is only available for 25 of the EU-28 countries, however an EU-28 average has been calculated by Eurostat. It indicates that the use of social media has increased from 30pc of EU-28 enterprises to 36pc of EU-28 enterprises in 2014.

In terms of enterprises using social media, Ireland ranked second in the EU-28 compared with third in 2013. Malta had the largest percentage of enterprises in the EU-28 using social media at 66pc.

The primary method of using social media as a way of connecting with customers was the use of social networks, with 58pc of Irish enterprises stating they used social networks such as Facebook. This compares with 46pc of Irish enterprises using social networks in 2013.

More Irish firms buying online than selling online

According to the CSO in 2014 27pc of cervices enterprises reported e-commerce sales which accounted for 35pc of total turnover for that sector.

The manufacturing sector had the largest share of e-commerce sales with 33pc of enterprises reporting e-commerce sales which accounted for 29pc of all turnover generated in that sector.

But just 5pc of construction enterprises made e-commerce sales which accounted for 1pc of total construction turnover.

Consistently across all sectors and size classes, the proportion of enterprises that had e-commerce purchases was higher than those making e-commerce sales.

Services sector enterprises reported that 48pc of enterprises had made e-commerce purchases which accounted for 27pc of total purchases in that sector.

Comparable figures for construction enterprises indicated that 45pc of enterprises made e-commerce purchases which accounted for 7pc of total purchases in construction, while 40pc of manufacturing enterprises reported making e-commerce purchases which accounted for 24pc of all purchases made by Manufacturing enterprises.

Cloud business image via Shutterstock

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