Cloud computing conference points to the future

DCU hosted the second annual National Conference on Cloud Computing and Commerce on Tuesday last, 16th April. The conference attracted significant crowds, with over 500 students and more than 150 guests attending the event.

The conference was organised by Techspectations and the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce, both of which are located at DCU Business School.

The day consisted of presentations and panel discussions from over thirty business leaders and experts on cloud computing, with speakers from big companies such as IntelLabs and Microsoft on hand to share their expertise.

Four speakers delivered at the conference, each touching on a myriad of different points. Prof. Martin Curley from IntelLabs highlighted the need for collaboration between policy makers, academia, industry and citizens.

Dr Constantin Gurdgiev highlighted that cloud computing presented significant economic opportunities for Ireland but that a definitive plan needs to be made in order to exploit this.

Clare Dillon from Microsoft emphasised that cloud computing will become just ‘computing’ in the future and Fergus Gloster from Marketo focussed on the need for a new marketing that emphasised measurement and using measurement to inform decision making.

Dr Theo Lynn, Principal Investigator at the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce, said “All the speakers felt optimistic about the future for cloud in Ireland but recognised that we have to make a considerable investment in innovation and education”.

Cloud computing is a form of shared, distributed computing. This means that instead of being responsible for paying upfront and maintaining hardware, the operating system and software applications, people can, as an alternative, share centralised services through a subscription basis. Gmail, Netflix and Spotify are everyday examples of this.

Mr Lynn explained the importance of cloud computing for Ireland. “For businesses and organisations it is important because it can deliver real competitive advantages.” He continued, “It can reduce cost … it is fast to configure and execute … and the subscription or rental model relieves pressure on cash flow”. Cloud computing also means that many staff can work from any location and are not tied to specific computing devices.

Cloud computing is a growing jobs sector in Ireland. Speaking at the conference, Prof. Martin Curley stated that by 2020 there will be 900,000 open IT jobs in Europe. Online advertising, social networks, online gaming, online payment as well as traditional IT all operate in cloud computing and this allows for the creation of jobs in sales, marketing, accounting, HR and IT.

Cathriona Hallahan, General Manager at Microsoft Ireland, also added that cloud computing is “extremely valuable” to Ireland and “could be worth €9.5bn to the economy by 2014”.

Sharron Lynskey

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.