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Study: Cloud to Generate 14 Million Jobs by 2015

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Gaining Control of the Cloud without Losing Flexibility

Good news for IT job seekers.

According to a study conducted by IDC and commissioned by Microsoft, cloud computing will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide by 2015. Those jobs will be presumably bankrolled by an estimated $1.1 trillion dollars in revenues that the cloud stands to generate by the same year.

Wait, doesn’t the cloud’s knack for dematerializing IT infrastructure threaten to displace your friendly neighborhood IT guy or gal?

No, says IDC senior vice president and chief research officer, John F. Gantz. “A common misperception is cloud computing is a job eliminator, but in truth it will be a job creator — a major one.” In a company statement, he adds that job growth will be widespread and “will occur across continents and throughout organizations of all sizes because emerging markets, small cities and small businesses have the same access to cloud benefits as large enterprises or developed nations.”

Most of that job growth will hail from emerging markets — China and India in particular. It is estimated that these countries will generate 6.75 million cloud-related jobs versus an estimated 2.8 million jobs in the Asia Pacific region, 2.07 in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and 1.17 million in North America.

China and India will take the lead in cloud job creation primarily because of “the immense workforce in the region,” according to the report. However, the report also cites less “legacy drag” — supporting older IT systems and software, essentially — and infrastructure challenges that lend themselves to cloud adoption as drivers.

Despite this, the United States currently leads in one regard: spending. Robert Youngjohns, president of Microsoft North America, blogged “the U.S. accounted for 62 percent of worldwide spending for public IT cloud services last year.”

SMBs Lead the Charge

When it comes to IT, SMBs used to follow the trails blazed by enterprises. Thanks to cloud computing, that paradigm has been turned on its head.

The report states, “IDC believes that small and medium-sized companies — at least those with computers — will adopt cloud IT services faster than larger companies.” As a result, by 2015 SMBs will be responsible for creating 1.2 million more cloud-related jobs than large enterprises, 7.5 million versus 6.3 million.

SMBs, like China and India, have less “legacy drag” to weigh them down, making the leap to the cloud relatively easier than it is for big companies. Another factor is the cloud’s potential expense reduction. And given the shaky economic climate, it’s little wonder that companies are looking to the cloud.

Youngjohns echoes the sentiment and writes, “Given the current difficult economic environment, every business is looking to empower their people, reduce costs, improve their customer connections and create new opportunities through their technology investments.”

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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