Banks could add up to 1,425,402 new cloud-enabled jobs by 2015, according to a new report from IDC and Microsoft. The research also claims that the cloud will generate nearly 14 million vertical industry jobs worldwide from 2011 to 2015 and that cloud computing could drive an increase in revenue of $1.1 trillion a year by 2015.
While cloud computing, due to its economy of scale, can free up banks’ resources which they can then dedicate to mission-critical tasks, and a number of jobs are certainly created by any new technology, a jobs bonanza due to cloud computing does sound a little over-optimistic.
Microsoft’s report, like other IT vendors’ reports, should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, vendors who commission their own research findings also have their own agenda.
For one, Microsoft is currently investing billions of dollars into its Azure cloud platform data centers while also building private cloud technologies into Windows Server 8.
Rob Preston, editor in chief of InformationWeek, notes in an editorial titled IT Vendors Inflate Job Creation Claims : “IT vendors and policy makers are taking credit for creating many millions of new U.S. jobs, even as the national unemployment rate hangs at a disconsolate 8.3%. Are other parts of the economy really losing jobs as fast as the tech industry is spawning them, or are these job-creation claims at best overstated and at worst a bunch of bunk?”
Preston points out that Microsoft and IDC’s argument is that by lowering customers' IT costs, cloud computing will free up funds for new business investment and innovation that ultimately will add jobs.
“Left out of their analysis is the fact that those efficiencies are achieved mostly through infrastructure consolidation, which eliminates IT jobs even if it spawns jobs elsewhere,” he notes.
Technology undoubtedly does create millions of jobs in the U.S. and elsewhere. But claiming that latest technologies such as cloud computing or big data are solely responsible for creating millions of jobs sounds like an oversimplified solution to the nation’s complex economic troubles.