The Next Leap


TREND 5: Cloud Computing

with 2 comments

In the past few years, the trend of cloud computing has gathered pace, and is regarded by many digital sector stakeholders as a dominant emerging trend. Initially focused on E-mail accounts and photo collections stored online (remote from any specific computer), cloud computing now includes office, project management, and even some early video editing applications. These applications are either delivered as “software as a service” (SaaS), where the application is delivered remotely from a data centre to the user’s computer, or as “software plus services” (S+S), where the application operates locally on the user’s computer, and also uses services delivered remotely from a data centre. Both approaches are referred to here as “SaaS/S+S”.

In parallel with noticing the trend towards cloud computing, the stakeholders were concerned about the continuing trend of outsourcing some services to locations away from Ireland. This is less pronounced when considering services that are of a sensitive legal character, and could not be conducted in other jurisdictions that might have lower legal standards or protections. While these two trends threaten the traditional software manufacturing and distribution industry, which may become entirely obsolete, it also significantly increases demand in three areas where Ireland could emerge as a leading provider: green data centres, legal environment and services, and localisation.

SaaS/S+S, and associated services such as cloud computing (the use of computing power supplied to users from a global pool of networked processing capacity) rely on data centres to provide the necessary processing power and storage from massive physical premises to remote users of their services around the world. This, as described in trend 6, below, suggests an opportunity for green data centres.

SaaS/S+S, delivered through data centres in jurisdictions across the globe and delivered internationally to remote clients, may open new opportunities for a global legal services hub wherein expertise relevant to rights clearance, payments, escrow and other relevant legal areas could be concentrated. Moreover, the boom in digital media content, described in trend 4, above, and the resulting trade in rights and protection of intellectual property, will expand the global market for supporting legal services.

SaaS/S+S may also create a boom in localisation as new services and other digital products delivered to a wide variety of customers at different locations across the globe require localisation. This can range from translation of language to adaptation of the entire product to fit better with the particular culture or technical context in which it is being marketed.

Continue to Options for Government Action in Cloud Computing


Written by johnnyryan

13/12/2008 at 01:51

2 Responses

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  1. Cloud computing and hosted applications and remote storage are all major parts of “new IT ecosystems” and Ireland should certainly try to get involved. I remember well, mind, the early ASPs, in the days when Dublin was ringed with data centres, some quite palatial (the contents of many would now fit in one room), and we need to ensure we plan any such adventures well. Yes, SAAS and S+S have achieved some reasonable level of acceptance, but the market is by no means secure. This is an area where a “branding” of Ireland could help, the more so as we are a quiet, physically, politically and (really, despite everything) econmically stable place.

    The idea on localisation is also excellent, and could be pioneered by multinational branches in Ireland, helping to keep them here, and our colleges and their enterprise and / or incubator arms.

    J Doyle

    20/12/2008 at 11:54

  2. […] in Trend 4 is that this could focus on payments and rights clearance for digital content, but as Trend 5 shows, the scope might be broader. This means that a digital legal services centre may be directly […]

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