By Max Clarke

€763 billion could be generated by 2015, and millions of new jobs created, through the expected adoption of cloud computing across a range of industries in some of Europe’s key economies. Standing to benefit most from the roll-out of cloud computing services are the distribution, retail and hotels sectors, with more than €233 billion in value expected to be created.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) today revealed new findings in Part II of EMC Corporation’s (NYSE: EMC) 2011 Cloud Dividend report, focusing on key industry sectors in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Cloud computing enables information and technology to be made available to businesses securely, in a scalable manner and as a service — when they need it. This computing and information access model speeds up time-to-market, removes traditional barriers to entry and allows companies to exploit new market opportunities.

The study focuses on the three most common cloud computing models today: public cloud, which is controlled by a cloud provider; private cloud, which is controlled internally by an organisation’s own IT team; and hybrid cloud, a combination of the two.

The €233 billion generated for distribution, retail and hotels — from a combination of accelerated business creation, business development and cost savings — constitutes 31 percent of the total economic benefit expected to be created across the region, with 77 percent of the value being derived from private and hybrid cloud solutions.

Distribution, retail and hotels accounted for the largest share of economic benefits in France, Italy, Spain and the UK. In Germany, however, the banking, financial & business services sectors were strongest, with IT capital expenditure (CapEx) savings alone of €18.1 billion.
According to the new research, most new employment opportunities stand to be created as a result of cloud computing adoption in the government, education and health sector, where more than 800,000 new jobs are projected to become available. The study shows that the total of new jobs across the five economies will potentially rise as high as 2.4 million by 2015.

Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism for the British Computer Society said, “IT is driving change through our private companies, public sector services and social lives. The benefits extend to wealth creation and employment opportunities for UKplc. Cloud computing is playing a crucial role in this change which is not limited only to the cutting edge of new companies, but also to how traditional organisations and business models operate.”

Thilthorpe added, “IT Professionals not only need to be able to operate in this environment but also need to be able to leverage their knowledge and put it in the context of their organisations.”

Cebr’s managing economist, Oliver Hogan, says, “Our research into the impact of cloud computing has uncovered compelling economic benefits attached to the expected and predicted roll-out across various industry sectors. ‘Distribution, retail and hotels’ is projected to generate the largest returns from cloud deployments despite decreased spending power and commodity price pressures. ‘Banking, financial & business services’ is also one of the stronger sectors, in terms of the resulting benefits, but lower relative IT CapEx-to-labour ratios in this sector mean its share of the total benefits in EMEA isn’t proportional to the sector’s powerful contribution to overall GDP. One of the key drivers for economic recovery will be job creation and, interestingly, the public sector should gain most here with up to 800,000 positions expected to result from the adoption of cloud services.”

* The summary of Part I can be viewed here.