Cloud computing could bring 14,000 jobs to Valley, study says

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A new study commissioned by Microsoft predicts that a move towards cloud computing by local businesses could create 14,000 jobs in Phoenix . By Mike Gertzman A new study commissioned by Microsoft predicts that a move towards cloud computing by local businesses could create 14,000 jobs in Phoenix . By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A new study says Phoenix could see 14,000 new jobs by 2015 as more companies begin using "cloud computing."

The study, conducted by IDC for Microsoft, predicted a transition to cloud computing could create 14 million jobs worldwide, and more than one million positions here in the U.S.

The cloud is a type of computing service that allows easy access and management of data without the physical infrastructure traditionally required.

"Rather than having all your data sitting on one localized device, you have it on the cloud where it's accessible anywhere," said JP Westwood, a sales manager at Microsoft's Tempe office.

The new jobs would not be directly related to running the cloud computing system, but as a result of cost and time savings created by the cloud, researchers found.

"Allowing companies to focus on more innovative parts of their business, it in turn will drive future business, and not necessarily in IT," said Westwood. "A lot of these jobs that are going to be grown are going to be outside of IT."

Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google are among the companies that offer cloud computing services.

Michael Hayes, owner of Momentum Specialized Staffing in Phoenix, looked at the study and agrees that it's good news for the local job market.

"I think anyone that's predicting jobs here, that's a good thing," Hayes said. "Even if it's only half right, it's still quite a few jobs, and I think that cloud computing is going to be the new thing moving forward."