Gary Watson, general manager, SunGard Availability Services

5 Oct 2010

Irish businesses are certainly aware of the existence of cloud computing but many of those companies may not be as aware of the different cloud offerings in the market today and how best to adopt them. A company may decide to utilise part, or all, of the different cloud offerings that are available. This depends on the firm’s requirements and those requirements can change, depending on departmental needs.

SunGard firmly believes cloud computing will mature in the Irish market. This maturation process will involve organisations accepting there is not a single cloud solution to which they are required to adapt their individual requirements, but a number of distinct cloud offerings from a number of key providers, each with their own unique benefits and functionality.

We believe that as the market matures, organisations will utilise a combination of these solutions to build a cloud strategy that best suits its own business needs. As an example, an organisation may utilise outsourced email and CRM solutions from a software as a service (SaaS) provider, deploy mission-critical infrastructure on a multi-tenancy, hybrid or private cloud and create development environments within a public cloud.

Cloud offers many effeciencies to organisations

The cloud offers many efficiencies to organisations with a dispersed workforce, such as the public sector. Cost savings – such as infrastructure management – can be realised, allowing for the business to concentrate on core activities.

The majority of users of cloud servers to date have been small nimble Irish firms, who have looked at outsourced IT services and/or infrastructure to minimise capital expenditure and to ensure best-of-breed services and support for all elements of their IT infrastructure.

Larger Irish companies are becoming more aware of cloud services, however, and are utilising early adoption services, such as mail services, CRM, accounting and disaster recovery solutions, while investigating the possibility of the outsourcing of traditional in-house IT infrastructure.

Before embracing the cloud, the organisation needs to think about its long-term IT strategy in great detail, as different units within the organisation may be able to utilise different aspects of cloud services available today.