O'Driscoll's 44th minute score against the Azzurri increases his tally as leading Six Nations tryscorer to 23 and is now just one try from equalling the 78-year Championship record held by Scotland's Ian Smith.
Up next for Declan Kidney's men is the far more daunting prospect of a French side buoyed by an emphatic victory over Scotland on Saturday and O'Driscoll admits Ireland must show a killer instinct in Dublin.
"We created a huge number of opportunities, it's just we lacked the clinical edge and that was the frustrating thing," said O'Driscoll.
"You can't cough it up against any side in Test rugby, and Italy nearly made us pay.
"We didn't kill them off, I threw a loose ball into touch and we missed other chances.
"There are no excuses and we can't afford to do that again."
O'Driscoll's sentiments were quickly echoed by scrum-half Tomas O'Leary.
The Munster man was equally frustrated by Ireland's display but believes they won't make the same mistakes again.
He said: "Obviously, the French are renowned for their flair and their attacking play and they'll definitely be a different proposition than the Italians.
"It's a challenge that we're looking forward to. We definitely created the opportunities and we did get into good shape where we had the opportunities, especially out wide, we just weren't clinical enough.
"So we can create those opportunities again and I feel, given the quality of the boys out wide, that we'll take those chances."