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27 May 2015 | 0

He says this could be down to a number of factors. For instance, the bandwidth might not be available at a competitive enough price point to justify the investment to avail of the connectivity required to work with the cloud. In addition, the existing infrastructure outside Dublin might not be able to provide “the bandwidth capacity necessary for cloud and associated technologies”. There might be good download speeds but poor upload speeds. “Since cloud-based interaction requires two-way communications, the speed restriction on the upload leg restricts SMEs from optimising or even connecting to cloud-based services as they need to,” Long notes.

He believes that existing broadband infrastructure needs to be improved and updated for any prospect of cloud and technologies like voice over IP being made available throughout Ireland. That’s the only way to enable SMEs “in any location to deliver similar services at similar prices to those available to SMEs in the capital”.

“As long as providers are talking in a language that SMEs understand, I think there’s a good opportunity” – David Ellis, Arrow ECS

To achieve this goal, “it is critical that the government acts to roll out The National Broadband Plan to the many areas that cannot access broadband today”.

Marchetti believes another issue that could be acting as a hindrance to cloud adoption among some Irish SMEs is that they are not particularly enthusiastic about the merits of mobility, which is one of the big drivers for the cloud. “They have an innate requirement as employers that they expect their employees to be onsite. There’s a reluctance to embrace anything other than that. If they can’t see their employees, they don’t know what they’re doing.”

He contrasts this with his experience in the UK where he saw “a kind of want, they were completely on board, they didn’t care if someone came into the office or not once they could work and have their own device”.

One reason why there could be greater adoption in Dublin compared to other towns is that as well as better connectivity, the practical requirements for mobility could be much greater. Many smaller SMEs are unlikely to have premises in salubrious parts of the capital or to have large offices, so the attractions of mobile working are much more pronounced for them.

By contrast, SMEs in many of Ireland’s towns are likely to be more established and own their premises in good locations on the high street. Many of them will have offices in buildings that their counterparts in Dublin could only dream of. They will have far less need to adopt mobile working in those circumstances. They won’t be faced with paying high rents or rates like their counterparts in Dublin, so the incentive to go mobile is nowhere near as strong.

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