#DIF12 – ‘Ireland can be the innovation hub for big data revolution’

26 Mar 2012

EMC country manager Jason Ward with broadcaster Matt Cooper and Sea Fibre Network CEO Diane Hodnett at the Digital Ireland Forum in The Convention Centre, Dublin

Ireland has taken first mover advantage in the emerging space of big data and when combined with the country’s edge in cloud computing there’s a chance to make the country the innovation power hose for big data, EMC’s country manager Jason Ward told the Digital Ireland Forum in Dublin on Friday.

Ward said that because big data is such a new space, Ireland can embrace opportunities in the space ahead of the US and China and the best way to start is to create a workforce with the analytical skills for big data, such as data scientists, and establish a reputation as an innovation hub for big data.

“If you look at the world technology market, we’ve got Twitter, we’ve got Google, we’ve got LinkedIn, they are all coming to Ireland for a reason – they recognise Ireland was one of the leading manufacturing economies and now we’re an ICT economy.

“The world of cloud and big data is massive for Ireland and I think cloud has been well adopted across a lot of different economies but the world is now focusing on big data.

“In Ireland because big data is so new, we can create a workforce and an innovation hub around big data. Because it is so new the US and China haven’t established first-mover advantage.

“It’s a brand new technology that if Ireland embraces it can create lots of job opportunities and bring more revenue to Ireland.

A leader in cloud and big data industries

EMC has been a major investor in Ireland since 1988 and employs 2,500 people in the country. In recent weeks, the Government of Ireland and EMC, along with Cisco, VCE, VMware and the IDA revealed plans to create a major cloud innovation centre.

The new centre, which will consist of two world-class private cloud infrastructures that will sit inside both EMC and on the Irish Government’s data infrastructure, will perform a number of important roles.

Firstly, the innovation centre will allow indigenous SMEs and multinationals to test, develop and demonstrate apps that could be used by the public sector.

Secondly, it will provide public sector departments and agencies with a platform to trial new cloud solutions and avoid costly IT blunders. The centre will also promote Ireland as a leader in cloud computing and big-data industries and provide entrepreneurs and start-ups with an opportunity to vie for Government contracts.

Go to the Digital Ireland Forum microsite for highlights of the event.

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