A Microsoft-sponsored research by IDC indicates that cloud computing will create nearly 14 million new jobs globally by 2015. IDC’s research predicts revenues from cloud innovation could reach $1.1 trillion per year by 2015, which, combined with cloud efficiencies, will drive significant organizational reinvestment and job growth. IDC developed its results by analyzing cloud spending trends in more than 40 countries and then using this information to forecast the number of jobs this spending will create.
Susan Hauser (Corporate vice president, Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft): The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation.
One way in which the cloud is helping companies to be more innovative is by freeing up IT managers to work on more mission-critical projects. In addition, many businesses are using the cloud to improve how they work with customers and partners. “One of the trends we’re seeing is that companies are using cloud-based collaboration software not just for their internal employees, but to engage and share information with partners and vendors,” says Aaron Nettles, co-founder and CEO of Vorsite, a Microsoft Tier 3 Cloud Champion Member based in Seattle, Wash.
Of the 14 million new jobs that the cloud will generate between 2011 and 2015, a roughly equal number will accrue to large and small businesses, says IDC. Although small businesses make up the majority of employment in most parts of the world, they are generally less computerized. At the same time, IDC expects small- and medium-size businesses to adopt cloud services faster than large companies, many of which are constrained by existing legacy investments.
The number of new jobs produced by cloud computing will be somewhat proportional to the size of each industry, but not entirely. In some industries, such as professional services and retail, the high percentage of small- and medium-size businesses will drive up adoption. In other sectors, such as banking, security issues will slow the move to the public cloud, but may increase adoption of private IT cloud services.
Overall, three industries expected to generate the most cloud-related jobs are communications and media (2.4 million), banking (1.4 million), and discrete manufacturing (1.3 million).
The highest percentage of new jobs will occur in emerging markets, according to the study, especially China and India, which together are expected to produce nearly 6.8 million cloud-enabled jobs between 2011 and 2015. This can partly be attributed to the size of their workforces, and partly to the fact that many Chinese and Indian companies aren’t bound by large legacy system investments.
John Gantz (Senior vice president, IDC): We tend to think of China and India as emerging markets, but they’re actually early adopters of the cloud. They’re not bound to existing systems. They’ve skipped that step, so there’s less holding them back.
Nearly 1.2 million new cloud-related jobs will be created in the U.S. and Canada, says IDC. An early adopter of cloud computing, the U.S. accounted for 62 percent of worldwide spending in public IT cloud services in 2011.