A new study commissioned by Microsoft indicates that cloud computing will create 14 million new jobs worldwide by 2015.
The white paper, Cloud Computing's Role In Job Creation, was assembled by research firm IDC by analysing spending on cloud technology in 40 different countries.
IDC estimates that total spending on IT products worldwide is $1.7 trillion in 2011, but 75 per cent of that figure is taken up by maintenance of legacy systems and routine upgrades.
Cloud technology will alleviate or eradicate many of those issues, saving companies money and time, and allowing them to invest more heavily in innovation. IDC's research puts new business revenues from such activities at $1.1 trillion a year by 2015.
"Given the current difficult economic environment, every business is looking to empower their people, reduce costs, improve their customer connections and create new opportunities through their technology investments," said Robert Youngjohns, president of Microsoft North America, in a blog post.
"When it comes to the cloud, Microsoft is 'All In' - helping customers realise the benefits from one of the most profound transformations in computing history. But leading with the cloud also has the potential of doing much more - improving economic health in the U.S. and all over the world."
Around a third of the jobs created between now and 2015 will be in three industries: 2.4 million in communications and media, 1.4 million in banking, and 1.3 million in discrete manufacturing.
Geographically, China and India will dominate cloud-computing by the end of 2015. The two countries will account for 6.75 million jobs, compared to 1.2 million in North America and Canada, 2.1 in EMEA countries, and 2.87 across the rest of Asia/Pacific.
"We tend to think of China and India as emerging markets, but they're actually early adopters of the cloud," said IDC senior vice president John Gantz in a statement. "They're not bound to existing systems. They've skipped that step, so there's less holding them back."
IDC expects cloud-computing jobs to be spread evenly across large, medium and small companies. While bigger companies generally have more money to invest, they are more likely to be tied up with legacy agreements that prevent them from implementing major technological changes. Ultimately, small and medium-sized companies will migrate to the cloud quicker.
"When you put it all together, the two trends balance out, and you get a 50-50 split," Gantz added.
To read our investigation into the nascent market for video games in India, click here.