By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Companies — and cities — looking to create jobs should look to the cloud, if a new study is any guide.

Over the next three years, the cloud could rain 20,000 new jobs on the Philadelphia region alone.

“Nearly 14 million new jobs worldwide and over 1.1 million in the U.S. will be created as a result of cloud computing,” George Taylor said.

Taylor, a solutions specialist director at Microsoft, says it’s a flexible way for business, government, and the rest of us to let web services host data and programs. (Gmail and Hotmail are two examples of popular cloud-based consumer services.)

And it’s not just tech jobs that should be up for grabs.

“When people get away from old investments in technology and let others do it that specialize in that, they can focus on hiring more sales, finance, production, marketing,” Taylor explained.

Education and retail, too, stand to benefit.

But the report — released this month by analyst group IDC and Microsoft, which markets cloud services — finds Philly isn’t doing enough to lasso its share of cloud jobs because there’s not enough investment in information technology here.

Read the full report by clicking on this link.

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