Telecoms company O2 Ireland has invested €3 million in a new cloud software platform for businesses. The O2 Digital Solutions platform will include ecommerce technology and a website builder, security solutions to protect against viruses and spam, cloud storage, video conferencing, and mobile marketing and collaboration services.
“These products have very clear benefits for businesses,” O2’s head of business products Nicola Mortimer said.
Research commissioned by the company found two thirds of small businesses in Ireland used cloud-based software. However, Ms Mortimer said there was still confusion about the services among SMEs.
“Our research over the last number of years suggests that many Irish companies are using some form of cloud service but may not recognise it as such,” she said. “At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what it is called, business customers want cost effective access to the latest productivity tools whether they are working from home, with a customer or on the road.”
Ms Mortimer said cloud services were central to O2’s strategy of becoming a total communications provider. “Because of the compelling business benefits, the cloud surge is now unstoppable. We aim to be at the forefront of delivering this to the Irish business market,” she said.
The research found as much as 69 per cent of Irish firms were using cloud computing apps such as Microsoft’s Office 365 and Dropbox, a figure that has risen from 48 per cent in the survey O2 conducted 18 months ago.
Despite the rise, however, more than a third of firms were still unclear on the benefits of using the technology.
The survey, which was conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes in August, spoke to 350 Irish business owners and managers.