Minister proposes cloud implementation group

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30 June 2011 | 0

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D. has announced that he has begun the process of establishing a cross-Government implementation group on cloud computing.

The focus of the groups will be to support the implementation of the Programme for Government commitments on cloud computing, where the coalition undertook to make Ireland a leader in the public sector use and support of cloud computing.

“Ireland is extremely well-placed to take advantage of the rapidly-growing international potential of cloud computing,” Minister Bruton. “A recent report commissioned by Microsoft has estimated that by 2014 the cloud computing industry in Ireland could be worth €9.5 billion and employ 8,600 people. Now more than ever we must do everything we can to seize opportunities like this.”

 

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Minister Bruton recognised that as a significant user and buyer of IT services, the Government has a role to play outside of policy too.

“It is also crucial that Government, as a major user of IT in the economy, take a lead in this area in order to provide opportunities and economies of scale for growing businesses in this sector, and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to implement an ambitious series of policies to achieve this.”

The minister said that certain key actions were required to ensure that the potential of cloud computing was fully realised, detailing the following:

  • Organising existing publicly funded and Government Agency supports into a Cloud Cluster Programme
  • Closing the gaps in awareness of cloud computing within the public and private sector
  • Labour force development to close the skill gaps required in support the growth of a Cloud based industry
  • Implementing a high profile public sector cloud based project to demonstrate leadership both in Ireland and internationally
  • Rolling out a series of initiatives to promote the use of cloud computing by small businesses and start ups in Ireland
  • Ensuring the continued investment in broadband and international internet connectivity to ensure sufficient capacity exists to support the growth of the cloud industry

Unlike previous announcements around cloud computing, there was at least some detail of the proposed make-up of the group.

“It is proposed that this group will include representatives of all Departments and agencies responsible for all aspects of cloud computing policy: expenditure, IT procurement, security, infrastructure and industrial strategy. Other people will be invited to participate as appropriate, and a parallel consultation process will take place with industry representatives to ensure that their views are fully taken on board at all times.”

A statement went on to say that the proposed Group will include representatives of relevant Departments, as well as the Data Protection Commissioner, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland and that the first meeting is proposed for later this month.

A parallel consultation process with industry will be conducted through ICT Ireland, with a first meeting also later this month.

ICT Ireland director Paul Sweetman welcomed the announcement and saying, “Today’s announcement is strongly welcomed. For Ireland to become a global leader in cloud technology, it will be important for Government to take the lead as a user of cloud computing.

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