Cloud technology is expected to create millions of new jobs around the world and will be an important force in inspiring the business innovation needed to restore global economic health, according to a new IDC study released today. The study, commissioned by Microsoft, found that by the end of 2015, nearly 14 million new jobs will be created worldwide, and just over 70,000 across Canada.
In Toronto, new jobs related to the cloud will increase an average of 20 per cent annually, resulting in more than 14,500 by 2015.
The cloud is a web-based way to process, manage and store data – an IT solution so cost-effective that businesses of all sizes are moving away from the expensive maintenance of legacy systems, and instead opting to build on top of the cloud’s common infrastructure. By using the cloud’s global scalability, businesses can, in turn, invest those savings directly into business innovation.
IDC reports that worldwide, at least 75 per cent of IT spending is currently tied up with the maintenance of legacy systems and routine upgrades.
“By harnessing the power of the cloud, businesses can benefit from reduced fees and equipment costs, and in turn free up IT staff to turn their focus to more mission-critical and strategic tasks,” says John Weigelt, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Canada. “But we often overlook one of the cloud’s most compelling benefits: by empowering business innovation and helping to increase revenues, using cloud technology can lead to job creation across all sectors, and in turn, drive Canada’s economy forward.”
The IDC also reveals several other interesting cloud facts:
In 2011, more than $28 billion was spent on cloud services worldwide.
In 2011, the cloud helped businesses around the world generate more than $400 billion in additional revenues and 1.5 million new jobs. More than 50 per cent of those jobs accrued to small and medium businesses.
By 2015 in Toronto, businesses with less than 500 staff (SMEs) will see an increase of more than 6,300 new jobs, while larger enterprise companies will increase by more than 8,100 jobs.
“At Microsoft, we’re challenging businesses to really see the path that the cloud offers: increased flexibility and technology cost savings, allowing for greater productivity, more innovation, and eventually, business growth,” says Weigelt. “Businesses across the globe are realizing that if they act now, they can reap big benefits both today and into the future.”
Moving to the cloud led to an increase in productivity for Redwood Global Inc., a tech recruitment and consulting firm based in Toronto, with clients across North America.
“As our company grew, we realized our resources weren’t able to support the IT infrastructure needed to ensure our employees could in turn, provide the best customer experiences possible,” says Randy Clemens, CEO, Redwood Global Inc. “Redwood shifted its business to the cloud using Microsoft Office 365, and since then we have been able to scale our business exponentially by hiring more people and opening our services to new markets. Our employees can now work remotely in different locations providing our clients with the same experience they would have at our headquarters in Toronto.”
Microsoft offers a variety of cloud computing solutions worldwide, ranging from platform and infrastructure offerings (Windows Azure, Windows Server), productivity offerings (Office 365) and private cloud solutions (Windows Server, System Center) to consumer-focused offerings (Xbox Live, Hotmail).