Cloud computing could produce jobs boost to Northern Ireland

Cloud computing could produce jobs boost to Northern Ireland

More than 16,000 new jobs could be created in Northern Ireland thanks to the benefits of cloud computing.

A new report has claimed that the country is primed for employment expansion providing that it embraces the much talked about technology.

Cloud computing, which involves storing data and applications on internet-based systems saves companies considerable sums of money because it gets rid of the need to save material on hardware and reduces the amount spent on IT service staff.

And a report published by Oxford Economics and professional services firm Goldblatt McGuigan suggests that cloud computing strategy could give the economy in Northern Ireland a shot in the arm to the tune of £1.2 billion.

Whisple Cloud Services, an organisation which is based in Northern Ireland and comprised of local firms, highlighted the findings of the report during a conference held in front of 200 delegates at the new Titanic building in the east of Belfast.

Dermot Walsh, chief executive of Whisple Cloud Services said Northern Ireland had made "significant investment in its underlying communications infrastructure, creating one of the world's best digital platforms, which in a global cloud computing market is an invaluable asset".

"Not only is our talent second to no other region, but also the calibre of local IT companies and the research and development facilities in our universities, creates a fantastic environment for economic growth and job creation," Mr Walsh added.

The benefits of cloud computing are now being recognised the world over. Indeed, recently China claimed that it had now surpassed the United States in terms of deployment of the technology.

At the recent EMC Forum 2012 event in Hong Kong, Denis Yip, the president of Greater China said that the country is less tangled in a web of complicated legacy systems and this is allowing it to flourish when it comes to taking the leap to cloud.

“China is leading the way, which is strange because this is normally what happens with the US and then China follows – it has been like that for the past 20 years,” he said.

“They are leading because there is no burden. They don’t need to care about old apps because they have none, so they’re building from scratch.”

But it isn't just people which work directly in the cloud computing arena which are also benefitting from its emergence.

Indeed, Tony McDowell, managing director of, said that the cloud provides a wealth of new business opportunities to people trained in IT security because many companies still have hang up over whether the cloud is safe enough for them or not.

He added that firms need to ask themselves about whether the cloud computing agreement they have signed up to is encrypted and to what extent.

A general rule, if the cloud is encrypted up to 112 bits then some savvy hackers will be able to get into it but if it has been encrypted up to 256 bits (the standard for the Ministry of Defence) then breeches are extremely unlikely.

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