Cloud computing is predicted to spawn millions of new jobs in the next few years in and outside of IT as companies moving to the cloud redeploy the money they now spend to maintain in-house systems.
Global tech research and advisory firm IDC says by the end of 2015 almost 14 million new jobs will be created by the shift to public and private cloud services. Most of those new jobs will be outside the U.S. and Canada; China and India will see much of the growth. IDC predicts those two countries will share 6.75 million new jobs. North America will get 1.2 million new jobs, most of them in the U.S.
Underwritten by Microsoft, the IDC research says the nascent cloud-computing movement “already has begun changing how IT delivers economic value to countries, cities, industries, and small businesses. This is because cloud computing comes with unique economic leverage that means a little money spent up front leads to impressive returns down the line.”
IDC predicts that half the new jobs will go to small and mid-sized businesses, in part because they’ll move to the cloud more rapidly than large firms, which have invested in on-premises, enterprise systems. Smaller firms are also more plentiful, including in some of the industries IDC expects will be the largest beneficiaries of the job growth, though their IT spending is significantly less than it is at larger firms.
While nearly all industries will add jobs as a result of the cloud computing movement, IDC says the banking, communications and media, and discrete manufacturing will each add at least a million jobs by the end of 2015. The two former segments, though slow to adopt cloud computing, will generate more jobs than the early adopters “because they are big segments and spend a lot on IT.”
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These new jobs will come about through IT innovation; time and money now spent managing in-house systems will be freed up for other projects. “The basic rationale for job growth is that IT innovation allows for business innovation, which leads to business revenue, which leads to job creation,” write the study authors. Rather than eliminate IT jobs, the authors report that CIOs “look at migration to cloud computing as a way to free up existing resources to work on more innovative projects.”
According to the IDC research, “Increased business revenue from the IT innovation enabled by cloud could reach $1.1 trillion a year by 2015 across the countries studied.”