If Northern Ireland focuses on developing a Cloud Computing strategy it could mean an extra 16,000 jobs comprising of 10,200 directly within the software and IT services sector and the remainder as a result of indirect and induced effects of accelerating the development of a Cloud Computing Cluster, with a corresponding £1.2 billion financial boost to the economy.
The report was sponsored by EMC and prepared by Oxford Economics and Goldblatt McGuigan. Speaking at the launch of the event, keynote speaker, VP of Strategy and Finance of Salesforce.com, Sarah Friar said the opportunities for Northern Ireland are immense. Salesforce.com last year became the first enterprise Cloud Computing Company to achieve £2 billion in revenue p.a.
Whisple Cloud Services, is supported by Invest NI and as Northern Ireland’s leading Cloud Services provider is championing the collaboration of all relevant parties including the Public Sector, Educational bodies, Research and Development facilities, Venture Capitalists and Foreign Direct Investment to work together in maximising this economic opportunity at a time when many industries are suffering as a result of the downturn.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Dermot Walsh CEO, Whisple Cloud Services said: “NI has 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 R&D facilities in our Universities, creates a fantastic environment for economic growth and job creation."
He added, “We also have a tremendous supporting eco system and our region’s small size is a massive benefit as we can quickly harness the power of entities such as NISP Connect, Halo and Venture Capitalists to ensure companies realise their full potential. Whisple is at the very heart of bringing these assets together for the benefit of all."
The conference which was attended by over 200 delegates included a keynote address by Sarah Friar, SVP Finance and Strategy for the internationally renowned Salesforce.com who spoke on the rise of the Cloud, key trends in Social and Mobile innovations as well as providing a perspective on what economic benefit could accrue to Northern Ireland if a proactive regional strategy is adopted around Cloud.
A panel of experts including Basil McCrea, Chair, of the Employment and Learning Committee at Stormont discussed how the Executive, Invest NI and the ICT sector can come together to take advantage of the opportunities which now lie within the grasp of NI PLC.