Microsoft released research that claims cloud computing will create almost 14 million new jobs worldwide by 2015, with revenues projected to reach US$ 1.1 trillion per year.
Microsoft commissioned IDC to do the research project, Cloud Computing's Role in Job Creation. "IDC estimates that last year alone, IT cloud services helped organizations of all sizes and all vertical sectors around the world generate more than [US]$ 400 billion in revenue and 1.5 million new jobs," the report says. According to IDC estimates, 75% of IT spending is on maintaining and upgrading legacy systems. With cloud computing, some of the legacy work can move to the cloud and free up IT budgets and time.
Of the millions of new jobs, more than half of them will accrue to small and medium-sized businesses. The researchers predict that those businesses are the ones that will adopt cloud IT services faster than larger companies. The report explains:
In discussions we have had with CIOs testing and experimenting with cloud computing, we find that most look at migration to cloud computing as a way to free up existing resources to work on more innovative projects, not to do away with the positions entirely. In that way, cloud computing differs from traditional outsourcing. On the other hand, cloud computing could certainly change the skills requirements in an IT organization."
Which Sectors Will See Growth?
The IDC report calls professional services a "sweet spot" of public IT cloud services spending because of adoption of software as a service (SaaS) cloud computing components adopted by information-dependent midsize companies, whereas communications and media companies will spend below average on cloud services, but will be a fast-growing sector for job creation.
"IDC expects the media segment to be one of the main users of storage on demand as a service to enable continuous service for content-heavy customer offerings," the study says. "This sector already accounts for 20% of spending on public cloud storage in the United States."
Healthcare and banking industries will see slower adoption of cloud services because of regulation and security issues. "Many of the countries studied have initiatives under way similar to those in the United States for electronic medical records, which are tailor-made for public IT cloud services," the study adds.
Budget cuts will motivate the education sector to adopt cloud services, which will also help increase cloud-related jobs in that field. The retail sector, which is normally slow to adopt new technologies, has been an early adopter of cloud computing.