New IDC study shows IT innovation produced by the cloud could create US $1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.

REDMOND, Wash. – March 5, 2012 – Spending on public and private IT cloud services will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide from 2011 to 2015, according to a new study by the analyst firm IDC. The research, commissioned by Microsoft, also found that IT innovation created by cloud computing could produce $1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.

Moving to the Cloud

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, according to the IDC study.

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. “So when you put it all together, the two trends balance out, and you get a 50-50 split,” says John Gantz, senior vice president at IDC and author of the white paper.

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 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. “We tend to think of China and India as emerging markets, but they’re actually early adopters of the cloud,” Gantz says. “They’re not bound to existing systems. They’ve skipped that step, so there’s less holding them back."

Source: IDC White Paper,
  “Cloud Computing’s Role in Job Creation,” (see also: related data)
  February 2012