Jim DeHaven, Cisco head of business and virtualisation for the UK and Ireland

5 Oct 2010

From an Irish market perspective, I would have to say that it’s on a par with what we’re seeing in the broader European markets. About 18 months ago I was in Ireland speaking with a lot of service providers about the potential of cloud computing. It was quite a wrap up as they were prepared to build out their infrastructure to start delivering cloud already. Customer adoption is largely similar to other places – which is quick adoption and a greater appetite in commercial mid-market space where the finances make more sense.

Things are very sensitive around cost and cost justification at the moment. I think that cost cannot be overlooked. Being able to move to a traditional capital model to an operational expenditure (OPEX) model is key. From an IT department perspective, cloud computing allows IT to operate like a business partner with faster delivery of services – enabling them to deliver back those services versus the long lead times it takes to build things. I would say cost, agility, flexibility and complexity are key components.

An organisational transfer has to happen

There’s going to be, from an IT perspective, a degree of infrastructure and application rationalisation that has to happen. What we’re finding is that a lot of customers are saying: ‘well, first we have to single out the application we’re going to use versus the 25 apps that we’re using today’. There is also an organisational transfer that has to happen, one that cannot be overstated. What we’re seeing is this whole traditional culture of IT change to suddenly not needing as many people.

I will always see infrastructure internally as necessary. I don’t see customers outsourcing everything to the cloud. You could have a hybrid-federated model but it requires organisational transformation because now it’s about delivering IT as a service as opposed to the traditional ‘let’s build it’ IT approach.

I think the cloud enables a new consumption model that will deliver more agility. From an economic perspective, that barrier of entry to a new market drops dramatically. So my optimistic point of view is that suddenly smaller businesses have greater IT capability to operate much more competitively against larger organisations. By lowering the cost barrier to entry, opening shops, businesses, or entering markets is now made easier, because all of a sudden entering the market has become a matter of weeks and days and instead of months and years.