B&F Business Person of the Month, May 2013 – Cathriona Hallahan, managing director, Microsoft Ireland
Cathriona Hallahan is managing director for Microsoft in Ireland, responsible for driving Microsoft’s commercial and consumer business on the island of Ireland.
In addition to managing the continued growth and expansion of the business, Hallahan also represents the company on all strategic policy, corporate affairs and communications issues including overseeing a series of community, education and innovation programmes.
The recently released second annual Microsoft/Amárach Cloud Index reveals that more small businesses are adopting cloud computing in Ireland. The index focuses on tracking the adoption of cloud computing amongst organisations in both the public and private sectors in Ireland and finds that 53% of organisations with five to 50 staff are now using the cloud, reflecting a 21% increase from last year.
Speaking at Microsoft’s Business Leaders’ Summit held during National Cloud Week in May, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: Cloud computing is an area which we have targeted as part of our Action Plan for Jobs, and since taking office we have put in place a series of changes to support growth in this sector. In 2013, we are implementing a range of further measures, including trebling the number of Government-supported companies providing services from cloud platforms.”
National Cloud Week, organised by Microsoft, is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of cloud and to encourage organisations in the public and private sector to deploy cloud solutions to facilitate growth and drive efficiencies.
Launching the findings of the cloud Index, Hallahan said: “We see a great deal of evidence that the Irish discourse about the cloud is maturing. Managers accept the cost saving and productivity message, yet the areas of privacy and security continue to be a concern. As a leader in cloud we, along with our colleagues in industry partnering with Government, have a responsibility to educate people about these areas to help them understand that the risks are similar to any on-premises solution that they might already deploy.”
Hallahan added: “There are many positives that we can take from the Index. We can see that an encouraging 40% of those who haven’t adopted the cloud yet are planning to pilot it in areas such as email and document storage.”
Hallahan joined Microsoft in 1986 and over the past 27 years has held a variety of senior roles in both finance and operations. She has managed large teams with regional and global responsibilities across a range of functions including global responsibilities for MBS and Enterprise Services as well as directing supply chain management, logistics, customer care and IT and financial support for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Previous to her role as MD of Microsoft Ireland, Hallahan was managing director for Microsoft’s Dublin-based EMEA Operations Centre (EOC) for the past four years. In this role, she was responsible for a 600 strong team that manages operations across 120 countries.
In addition to her Microsoft responsibilities, she also sits on the boards of Vhi Healthcare, the American Chamber of Commerce and of Kanchi Network. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum, the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Accounting Technicians (IATI) and is a fellow of ACCA.