Cloud computing will create some 14 million new jobs worldwide by 2015, and half of those will be in China and India, a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by IDC forecasts. The research also found that IT innovation created by cloud computing could produce US$1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.
According to Susan Hauser, corporate vice president of the worldwide enterprise and partner group at Microsoft, cloud computing will have a huge impact on job creation. "It's a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation, and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe," she said in a statement.
The highest percentage of new jobs will occur in emerging markets, according to the study. The Asia-Pacific region will see a total of 9.6 million cloud-enabled jobs created between 2011 and 2015, of which 6.8 million of them will be in China and India.
John Gantz, senior vice president at IDC and author of the study, believes this can partly be attributed to the size of their workforces, and partly to the fact that many Chinese and Indian companies are not bound by large legacy system investments.
"We tend to think of China and India as emerging markets, but they're actually early adopters of the cloud," he said in the study. "They're not bound to existing systems. They've skipped that step, so there's less holding them back."
Most of the new jobs that will be created will go to large and small businesses, according to the IDC study. It noted that although small businesses make up the majority of employment in most parts of the world, they are generally less computerized.
IDC also expects small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to adopt cloud services faster than large companies, many of which are constrained by existing legacy investments. "So when you put it all together, the two trends balance out, and you get a 50-50 split," said Gantz.
The study found that 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 SMBs 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 with 2.4 million, banking with 1.4 million, and discrete manufacturing with 1.3 million, the study showed.