Significant surge in use of cloud computing by Irish CIOs

9 Oct 2012

More than half of Irish CIOs (54pc) say they now use cloud computing in their organisation, up from 38pc a year ago, according to the latest Deloitte CIO Survey.

Some 77pc of respondents stated that the decision to adopt cloud-based services was IT driven. Software as a Service is the most popular cloud service, with an adoption rate of 72pc, followed by Infrastructure as a Service at 41pc.

Three-fifths of private-sector respondents use some form of cloud computing, while a quarter of those respondents in the public sector indicated that they are using cloud services.

Of the respondents who are not currently using cloud computing within their organisations, 47pc have plans to research it and 31pc plan on trialling cloud over the next 18 months.

Sea change in Irish CIO priorities

According to Deloitte Ireland partner Harry Goddard, there is a major change in priorities among Irish CIOs with the emphasis shifting from cost production to business growth.

“This is the greatest sea change in priorities that we have seen since the survey began. The shift in priorities and improvement in business alignment reflects a growing recognition of the important role that IT can play in business change and growth. Perhaps most encouraging is the fact that CIOs have indicated that expected increases in budgets will be used to support the change and growth agendas.

According to the survey, 42pc of Irish CIOs are expecting a budget increase in the coming year. Last year, 45pc predicted a decrease in their budget.

Some 44pc of CIOs indicate they are currently recruiting staff. However, 84pc say they are struggling to fill both graduate and experienced hire positions.

Social media use by Irish CIOs

In 2010, just 38pc of CIOs indicated they made use of social media. In 2012, this figure has risen to 73pc. The primary use of social media is for customer interaction in the sales, marketing and support channels.

Use of social media for internal collaboration ranks lowest, suggesting that social media is still not viewed as a core enterprise tool for knowledge sharing.

Despite the growing prevalence of social media channels, just 68pc of organisations indicated they have a formal social media strategy in place.

Enterprise mobile and the rise of mobile apps

Sixty per cent of respondent CIOs indicated their organisation has developed mobile applications in the last year, an increase of 20pc on 2011.

This growth has been entirely focused on customer facing applications, with no growth in the development of employee-only facing applications. CIOs indicated that the top benefit of mobile applications was meeting customer expectations. This contrasts with last year when increased productivity and enabling new business growth through employee mobility were cited as the main benefits.

Further findings of the survey include:

  • 78pc of organisations plan to introduce or increase their use of tablets.
  • Only 12pc of organisations have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, while 23pc plan on introducing one within the next 18 months.
  • 7pc of respondents are actively using or implementing big data technologies. Thirty-nine per cent plan to research it in the next year while 41pc either have no plans to engage with it or do not believe it to be relevant to their organisation.

“Encouragingly, CIOs appear to be at the heart of the digital transformation of their organisations, with the development of mobile applications and the use of social media on the increase,” Goddard said.

“This again emphasises the pivotal role CIOs play in driving organisational strategy. More and more Irish CIOs are demonstrating the value technology innovation can bring. The overall sentiment that emerges from this year’s survey is a quiet optimism among CIOs with regards to the increased contribution they can make to their organisation’s future success.”

Strategy image via Shutterstock

Ireland’s digital leaders will gather to discuss cloud computing and the big data revolution at the Cloud Capital Forum on Friday, 23 November, at the Convention Centre Dublin

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