TechBeat: Digital asset hosting in Ireland


17 October 2014

When asked about their overall impression of the Irish market for digital asset hosting, the majority of respondents were positive (66%), with nearly a third (30%) indicating that Ireland was an optimal location. Only 7% again indicated a negative perception, with just 1% of that representing unsuitability. Interestingly, more than a quarter (27%) indicated that they were neutral in perception.

When respondents were asked what were the key influences that prompted the decision to host in Ireland, pipes (connectivity and networks) came out on top by a significant margin (31%), with pedigree (well-known and trusted set of suppliers in the area) level with people (required skills among employees) at 25%. Interestingly, power and policy (business programmes and tax incentives) were low as influencers at less than one in 10 (9%).

If you do not host digital assets in Ireland, why not?

By contrast, the survey also asked for single most important issue to be addressed by the digital hosting industry in Ireland. Contradictorily, respondents said that network connectivity/fibre providers were not plentiful (41%) and more than a quarter (28%) said policy was an issue. A fifth indicated power was the main issue, with just one in 10 unhappy with the provider landscape. No one took issue with the people/skills element. Among the other issues mentioned were cost, increased administrative overhead and a lack of market scope in which to re-sell such services.

“We wanted to understand why decision-makers within the company have or have not chosen to host their assets in Ireland,” said Connolly. “Survey results revealed that 41% of participants with no assets in Ireland believe the region requires more pipes, while 27% are looking for more programmes and incentives to be built into Ireland’s policy. In actuality, these perceptions of Ireland’s hosting landscape could not be further from the truth — so it is a matter of educating companies on the remarkable benefits Ireland provides.

“Ireland boasts an ever expanding global connectivity to Europe and the Americas, combined with high-bandwidth capacity and redundancy. Multiple subsea cables link the UK and the US to a vast fibre footprint throughout the EMEA region, creating a resilient network structure and ensuring fast and reliable content delivery.

What is the single most important issue to be addressed in digital asset hosting in Ireland?

“In recent years, Ireland has deployed two new cables through Sea Fibre Networks and Zayo Group. With increased fibre counts capable of handling the latest 100G technologies, additional deployments to this degree are expected throughout 2014 with Viatel Europe, securing significant funding to expand their infrastructure. In fact, for survey participants who do host assets in Ireland, nearly one-third of respondents reported ‘good pipes’ as the key benefit that influenced their decision.”

With regard to the policy elements of the perception of benefits, Connolly points out that there are significant measures in place.

“Ireland’s policy features an abundance of benefits to foreign investors and Ireland has been a leading participant in the soon to be adopted, EU 2014 Data Protection Directive,” said Connolly.

“Ireland has developed the Irish Data Protection Act to be pro-business — contributing to the protection of hosting companies’ rights and interests at lower costs than other European locations. To demonstrate Ireland’s commitment to compliance with Global Data Protection standards, it is the first country to appoint a Minister of State for data protection as part of its recent 2014 new cabinet appointments, coupled with the appointment of its new Data Protection Commissioner.”

To further gauge Irish digital asset industry perceptions in particular, the survey asked if respondents agreed with the statement from the 451 Research report that said Ireland demonstrates that it has all the attributes, including a blend of Policy, Pedigree, People, Power and Pipes, to make it an optimum and highly attractive location in which host digital assets. The overwhelming majority (88%) agreed, with just 12% disagreeing.

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