The cloud computing industry can be the next IFSC in Ireland if the incoming government moves quickly to implement the correct policies to deliver it, according to a new report.

Ireland has the chance to create jobs and help restore competitiveness if it moves quickly to establish itself as a global cloud computing centre of excellence, the report states.

The report, commissioned by Microsoft Ireland and compiled by Goodbody Economic Consultant, says that cloud computing is an evolving industry that has the potential to create €9.5 billion in annual sales by 2014 and generate 8,600 jobs. The cloud computing market is estimated to be worth €40 billion by 2014.

Cloud computing moves technology infrastructure into data centres where information is managed, secured and delivered to users as and when they need it. Users of the site like Hotmail and YouTube use an application that runs on a remote server and which they access as and when they need it and from a personal computer or a smartphone.

Today's report also says that early adoption of cloud computing will take costs of €0.5 billion out of Irish businesses every year.

The technology can also offer major benefits to the public sector as it can deliver major productivity gains and lower the costs of delivery as well as improving the quality of services for people.

'Cloud computing will revolutionise technology the way that the internet did,' commented Microsoft Ireland's managing director Paul Rellis.

'As this global industry is in its infancy, Ireland has a real opportunity to pioneer its adoption to create new jobs, new businesses and enhance our competitiveness while attracting foreign direct investment and creating new export markets,' he added.

'If the correct steps are taken now, Ireland could be home to the next Facebook or However, the race is on globally and if we do not act immediately, the opportunity will be lost,' he said.