Equinix today announced results of a survey of senior IT decision-makers based in Ireland, which found that 60% of them are unsure about current data regulations. The results were announced at the official Equinix Lands in Ireland event at The Marker Hotel, Dublin.
The findings show that Irish-based business leaders are confused about data transfer regulations surrounding data privacy following Safe Harbour’s invalidation by the European Court of Justice in October 2015. When asked if they have a clear understanding of the current state of EU-US data regulations and what they mean for their business, some 60% of respondents answered ‘no’. For foreign direct investment (FDI) companies, that figure increased to 80%.
However, reflecting Ireland’s data protection laws, just over 50% of respondents said they are now more likely to seek an Irish data hosting solution following the demise of Safe Harbour.
Data protection is now among the leading reasons why businesses choose to host in Ireland. Some 40% of respondents said data protection features in their top three drivers to host here. That is followed by proximity to their business (37%). Furthermore, strict legal rules around data localisation in certain countries (such as Russia and China) are not found in Irish data protection laws, which further consolidate the “Irish hosting preference”. In a similar survey last year, data protection did not feature in the top reasons to host in Ireland.
Maurice Mortell, Managing Director of Ireland and Emerging Markets, Equinix, said: “Ireland is continuing to showcase itself as a prime location to host data and our data protection laws are adding to that story. Our survey shows that as the role of data becomes ever more valuable to businesses, IT decision-makers want assurance that their digital assets are in safe hands. In Ireland, we can guarantee that.”
The survey also provides an insight into perceptions regarding the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). Some 42% of all respondents don’t believe IoT will influence their hosting strategy in the next five years. Only half of respondents believe it will play a part and 8% don’t know. Comparatively, 70% of FDIs see IoT being an influencer on their hosting strategy in the next five years, while just 20% do not.
Mortell concluded: “What’s striking about this survey is that just 50% of businesses believe IoT will affect their hosting needs in the next five years. At Equinix, we are seeing huge growth in IoT; it is an area that is going to explode. We are driving that interconnected world by enabling cloud service providers, internet exchanges, financial services and digital media and content providers to converge and collaborate. I expect in the coming years we will see IoT at the heart of businesses – and therefore their hosting needs.”
When asked what they believe will affect their hosting needs in the next 12 months, cloud strategy, along with disaster recovery and business continuity, were cited as the most likely (27%). That was followed by growth of data (15%) and increased emphasis on data protection (13%).
Additional findings from the survey:
· 74% of overall respondents said recent announcements regarding the location of data centres in Ireland from some of the world’s leading internet companies has made them more likely to consider an Irish data centre to host their digital assets.
· The average spend by respondents on hosting data in the past 12 months was €160,000– the same figure as last year.
· 41% of respondents are planning on changing how they host their data in the next two years, with 28% of those saying they plan to move to a cloud solution.
· Just 3% of overall respondents said a data centre’s green credentials are the primary consideration in their decision-making, while 71.4% said it is one of the factors they consider.
· Ability to expand when needed (50%), increased security (50%) and guaranteed uptime (50%) are the top three reasons for choosing a data centre.
This survey was commissioned in May 2016 by Equinix Ireland and carried out by TechBeat among 137 senior IT decision makers in Irish-based businesses, which were typically larger enterprises.