A new IDC study predicts that cloud computing is on track to create approximately 14 million jobs globally from 2011 to 2015. According to the Microsoft-sponsored report, the cloud-based IT trend could generate an additional $1.1 trillion a year in business revenue.
“Enterprises that embrace cloud computing reduce the amount of IT time and budget devoted to legacy systems and routine upgrades, which then increases the time and budget they have for more innovative projects,” explains John Gantz, senior vice president at IDC and author of the white paper.
To put it another way: “When IT innovation happens, business innovation is reached, which then supports job creation,” says Gantz.
IDC analysts examined spending trends for public and private IT cloud services in more than 40 countries and then used this data to extrapolate job creation figures.
“The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation,” notes Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. “It’s a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation, and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe.”
Much of the early growth in cloud-related IT has taken place in the US, which was responsible for 62 percent of worldwide spending in public IT cloud services in 2011. As the cloud space matures, other countries will experience similar growth spurts, especially so-called emerging economies. In the 2011-2015 timeframe, China and India are expected to account for about half of all new cloud-related jobs, according to IDC.
The report forecasts that cloud-related jobs will accrue to small businesses (with 500 or fewer employees) and large business businesses (with over 500 employees) equally. While small to medium-sized businesses have traditionally been slower to adopt computer technology, they are ahead of the curve when it comes to engaging cloud services. More than one-third of the coming jobs will come from three industries: communications and media (2.4 million), banking (1.4 million), and discrete manufacturing (1.3 million). The banking and finance sectors will likely be slower to adopt public cloud solutions due to security mandates, but that does not rule out a private or hybrid approach.
Research like this suggests that cloud-based IT may be entering a new stage in its evolution. The co-founder and CEO of Vorsite, a Microsoft Tier 3 Cloud Champion Member, Aaron Nettles says he’s planning to double the size of his workforce this year. He reports: “Customers are no longer asking, ‘Is the cloud right?’ but ‘When can we get it deployed?'”