On a global basis, Microsoft and IDC concluded in their study that by 2015, cloud computing will create 14 million jobs, while a study by CSC reported that 14% of companies reduce IT jobs after deploying a cloud strategy.
The key difference is that Cloud shifts the location and types of IT jobs. According to Network World, the impact to IT staff is that, "instead of managing infrastructure, tending the help desk and commissioning server instances to be created, IT workers of tomorrow are instead more likely to be managing vendor relationships, working across departments and helping clients and workers integrate into the cloud."
This fits the traditional argument that when positions are eliminated in one area through technology advancements, demand is created that increases positions elsewhere.
John Gantz, an IDC researcher said that three-quarters of IT spending today is on legacy systems and upgrades, with the remainder on new products. "By offloading services to the cloud, you increase the amount of budget you have for new projects and initiatives, which are the things that truly lead to new business revenues."
In the longer term, increasing the funding available for new projects and initiatives through cloud savings can drive revenues and potentially create jobs. In the shorter term, cloud deployments can create increased need for IT staff to manage transitions, but as the efficiencies reduce IT staffing jobs in an enterprise, these lost jobs might just migrate to the cloud vendors.
What's the moral of the story? Get ready to be flexible. At a macro level, the impact of cloud on IT jobs might mean transitioning into new roles in enterprise IT or following the infrastructure to a job at a cloud provider.