Apple Makes 500k Jobs? Cloud Services Could Help Make 14 Million, With Half In China And India

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Much was made of the news last week from Apple that its businesses had effectively created over 500,000 jobs in the U.S. not just directly at its company but at the many that link into the ecosystem it has created. Today, Microsoft teamed up with IDC to publish some research that took that one step (or actually 13.5 million steps) further:

The two say that cloud computing services will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide by 2015, and that in 2012 that number is already at 6.7 million. That development, IDC says, could account for $1.1 trillion annually in new business revenues.

That will come in the form of more efficiency for people whose jobs would have originally had more tie-in with IT — now outsourced in the form of cloud-services — but also completely new opportunities: half of the jobs that will be created, says IDC, will be in China and India.

Microsoft, of course, has a big agenda to push here with its own cloud applications, but IDC is attempting to focus on the bigger picture, where companies like Dropbox, Box and Apple will sit alongside more enterprise-focused offerings, and those findings essentially go beyond what Microsoft will achieve with its own services.

IDC predicts that new jobs will be split equally between small and large business, with more than one-third of jobs in three specific sectors: communications/media (2.4 million jobs); banking (1.4 million jobs) and discrete manufacturing (1.3 million jobs). Sectors like banking will focus on cloud-based security and private implementations rather than public cloud services — the latter, on the other hand, are getting adopted not only by other businesses but by consumers, too.

What’s interesting is that the U.S. seems to be more of a consumer of apps than a creator of cloud jobs. The country accounted for 62 percent of cloud services spend in 2011, but by 2015 will only account for seven percent of cloud jobs, or 1.09 million jobs created as a result of cloud services.

In contrast, IDC says that the real growth will come in developing countries. Indeed, given that we’ve already seen years of IT outsourcing to countries like China and India, it’s not really surprising that countries like this will lead the way in terms of more job creation in the area of cloud services. IDC predicts that China will see 4.6 million and India 2.1 million new jobs by 2015, accounting for nearly half of all the new cloud-related jobs.