Those 14 million new cloud-driven jobs won't be in IT

Cloud adoption should drive tremendous overall economic growth, if we actually adopt it

IDC, in a study sponsored by Microsoft, predicts that cloud computing will generate nearly 14 million jobs globally by 2015. This prediction assumes that companies moving to the cloud will generate more revenue and cost savings, which in turn will lead them to create jobs. The IDC study predicts that IT innovation enabled by the cloud could help increase business revenue by $1.1 trillion by 2015, concluding that this would lead to an uptick in jobs across many different fields.

Keep in mind that this is a sponsored study, so it naturally reflects positively on those who pay for the study (Microsoft, in this case). Even with that bias, I don't see the predictions being too far from reality. For years, I've tried to focus the use of cloud computing around the business case, more so than the technology itself. The problem is that business cases are boring, and the massive migration of enterprise computing resources to Internet-delivered shared services is very exciting. We love to talk about exciting things. Boring things are, well, boring.

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What's different about the IDC findings is that they look at the business efficiency around the use of cloud computing. This is in direct contrast to the hype-driven excitement around the use of new and cool cloud computing technology that promises to change IT. In other words, cloud computing will help businesses do better and thus create jobs -- not that cloud computing will create the jobs required to support cloud computing. Those jobs related to overall business growth are much more systemic and longer lasting.

However, the path from the current circumstances to the future "better for businesses using cloud computing" scenario will take a good deal of work. This includes accepting some risks and some disruptions that come with adopting cloud computing -- or any new technology, for that matter. That's the biggest speed bump to cloud-driven jobs, if you believe this study.

This article, "Those 14 million new cloud-driven jobs won't be in IT," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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