Cloud computing expected to spur job creation

Cloud computing will create significant employment opportunities worldwide, with the United States expected to invest the most in this area, according to new analysis.

The London School of Economics and Political Science's report examined the anticipated economic impact on the aerospace and smart phone services industries in the U.K., U.S, Germany and Italy from 2010 to 2014, and found that adoption of cloud computing by these two industries contributes to significant job creation.

For example, U.S. cloud-related smart phone services jobs is expected to grow from 19,500 in 2010 to 54,500 in 2014, which the researchers said could be due to lower electricity costs compared to Europe.

The research also showed that the U.S. is leading the way in cloud adoption, with North America representing 60 percent of worldwide cloud spending in 2009. The U.S. is also expected to remain the largest area for cloud services in immediate future, according to the authors.

The federal government has been implementing cloud computing aggressively since 2010 when the Office of Budget Management directed federal agencies to opt for cloud-based solutions, when available, in a wider effort to improve government IT procurement.

The General Services Administration became the first federal agency to move its email and collaboration tools to the cloud, and was shortly followed by the Office of Personnel Management releasing a strategy to implement cloud computing to upgrade IT solutions and infrastructure.

More recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration became the largest federal agency to move its email and collaboration systems to the cloud. Nearly 25,000 NOAA employees, contractors and associates are now using Google Apps for Government, according to Kennith Jackson, deployment manager of Google Apps.

The report showed cloud computing will create job opportunities in the areas of cloud applications development and infrastructure building, and to fill other managerial or customer service functions. Indirect jobs will come from those created to supply materials and other inputs to production, including software and switches, the report found. 

Skills sets and responsibilities will also change along with the focus on cloud, the authors of the report pointed out. “Our analysis shows jobs shifting from distributed data processing facilities to consolidated data centers, resulting in a drop in data processing jobs overall as efficiency gains occur especially through public cloud services,” they write. Meanwhile, the number of IT administrators within smart phone businesses and similar sectors is expected to decrease, the authors noted.


About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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Reader comments

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 Mitch

So how did the researcher determine there would be a net gain of jobs, while at the same time pointing out at the end of the article that jobs would be lost through consolidation?

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 Jim

This makes no sense. It's just PR spin. Sure, jobs may be created in one area, but they will be lost in others with the overall job count going down. Isn't that how all centralized solutions work? For example, merge three 30-worker helpdesks into one centralized 60-person helpdesk. Sure, 60 jobs were created in one area, but 90 were lost in the others.

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