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Cloud Computing Generated Jobs - Hype or Reality?

Emerging technology has potential of making significant changes beyond IT

Any new technology has a lot of followers and intrigue is built on what can the technology do to change status quo.  On the consumer side, mobile and tablets have had their share of attention.  On the enterprise side, enough solutions have been cloud washed to make customers scratch their heads in trying to understand what the technology really can do.  There is also a competition between technology companies to garner mind share – some try to create attention-grabbing headlines.  In an economy that looks for anything showing promise and recovery, job creation always grabs attention.

Two reports projecting huge job growth attributed to cloud computing were recently released – one commissioned by Microsoft with IDC and another from SAP with Sand Hill.   Much as I would like to believe these reports, attributing job growth created due to efficiencies gained by cloud computing is a stretch. After reviewing these reports, I found some observations from both reports worth noting.

SAP/Sand Hill Report:

  1. Compared OpenTable a SaaS/BPaaS provider with traditional technology cloud players like VMWare and Amazon. The kinds of businesses these companies participate in did not make sense on how their growth rates could be compared with each other.
  2. This report did highlight that an important factor in promoting cloud jobs was improving Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) education. While standard jobs will diminish, cloud jobs will flourish and need advanced skills
  3. Had an interesting example of a startup that in less than a year grew its revenues to $5 million and added 30 new employees. This kind of experiences will only encourage additional players to enter into the market with innovative offerings.

Microsoft/IDC Report:

  1. Professional services firms spend the largest percentage of their IT budget on public cloud services.  Shows the competition on “drink my own champagne” mentality among this segment.
  2. Observation that Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) customers will adopt cloud computing faster that Large Enterprises (LE) strengthens earlier assumptions.  This should encourage cloud service providers to focus on this segment.
  3. Healthcare and government sectors lag in cloud adoption. This is unfortunate as they are run most inefficiently and have the greatest challenge for increasing revenue.

Such reports do provoke some interesting discussions in addressing challenges facing a changing industry while giving us a frame of reference to start from.  Enterprises embarking on such initiatives need to understand that there is no such thing as one size fits all and need to review their requirements with the changing ecosystem of technology before making significant investment.  However, cloud computing does allow a “invest small/fail early” strategy to allow more lee way in making the leap.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

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