Microsoft/Amarach cloud index claims small firms growing via cloud

23 Apr 2012

Smaller companies in the Irish economy are attributing job creation directly to the adoption of cloud computing and 35pc of firms have implemented cloud, according to the inaugural Microsoft/Amarach cloud index as part of the brouhaha surrounding Cloud Week.

The survey of 151 organisations, including large, mid and small-sized firms, found that just less than two-fifths – 37pc – had implemented cloud computing.

This rises to more than half (53pc) of the large organisations in Ireland that employ more than 250 people.

The majority of public and private-sector organisations, however, have yet to deploy cloud technology.

For the inaugural index, adoption of cloud by Irish organisations stands at 3.2 out of 10.

Four in 10 organisations score their status as ‘1’, reflecting no deployment.

The index rises to 4.0 for the large organisations and 3.0 for public-sector bodies.

Economics of the cloud

In terms of the economic impact of the cloud on their organisations, three in 10 companies – 31pc – have been able to expand without additional capital investment because they leveraged the cloud. This rises to 44pc for small firms.

While cloud implementation is still in the minority among Irish organisations, 77pc agree that cloud is a tool that can help get the Irish economy back to growth.

Worryingly nearly one in seven (13pc) of firms surveyed consider the availability of the right IT skills to be a barrier to cloud adoption for their organisation.

The Index builds on the Cloud Report by Goodbody Consultants, commissioned by Microsoft and published last year, which highlighted that early adoption of cloud computing by Irish users would take costs of €0.5bn per annum out of Irish organisations and could lead to the creation of almost 9,000 jobs.

“The Government has identified cloud computing as a key sector where Ireland has potential to become a world leader, helping to create the jobs and growth we so badly need,” Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said today.

“The Action Plan for Jobs lists a series of actions which we will take in 2012 to develop this sector, and we recently announced an investment of €1.2m to establish a Cloud Computing Technology Research Centre which will help to realise this potential,” Bruton said.

Microsoft country manager Paul Rellis said the index was devised to create a more factual picture on the status of deployment of cloud locally.

“The inaugural index measure of 3.2 shows that there is some way to go in terms of adoption levels but what is very encouraging is that those who have moved can testify to the tangible benefits they have experienced,” Rellis said.

“The fact that senior decision makers can say that they are saving money as a result of the cloud is a great testament to the potential impact that could be experienced across the wider economy.

“In addition, the fact that smaller companies are attributing job creation directly to the cloud, as well as 35pc of companies stating that they have developed a cloud-based service, gives us an early insight into the massive impact that cloud can have if it were to be harnessed in a meaningful way across all parts of the economy.”

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