President of Microsoft International Pushes Cloud Computing Benefits at CeBIT

Earlier today, Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, gave a speech regarding the economic benefits of cloud computing at the 2011 CeBit trade show in Hanover, Germany.

Below are some excerpts from Courtois’ speech. The full speech is available on the Microsoft News Center.

On how cloud computing drives national competitiveness: On a grander scale, we believe that the cloud represents an opportunity to drive national competitiveness. The World Economic Forum tracks 110 indicators on the topic, falling into three main categories. They are: Basic Requirements; Efficiency Enhancers; and Innovation and Sophistication Factors. The Centre of Economics and Business Research released a report that said cloud computing will add €763 billion in productivity to the top economies over the next five years.

In Ireland, Microsoft recently commissioned a study that found if Ireland invested aggressively in the cloud, it could eliminate half a billion euros in cost each year from its economy, generate €9.5B in sales annually for Irish based companies by 2014, create 8,600 new cloud-related jobs and 2,200 new non-IT SMEs leading to 11,000 more new jobs. It also found that the cloud could lower the cost of delivery and improve the quality of public services in Ireland.

On how cloud computing helps companies achieve scale: Because (businesses) don’t have to make capital investment on infrastructure, the cloud provides the ability to achieve scale. This is the second of the three qualities of the cloud which will make a true difference. Small and medium-sized businesses represent the core of Europe’s economic engine, and for them, the cloud essentially removes the technology barriers that have previously held them back.

On how the cloud enables “elasticity”: With the public cloud, renting 1 machine for 1,000 hours will be equivalent to renting 1,000 machines for 1 hour, enabling us to rapidly accomplish complex tasks that were previously impossible because of cost or time constraints. It will mean that small teams of researchers can now tap into the same kind of computing power which was historically only available to the largest of research labs.

On how cloud computing is still a nascent industry: The cloud is still in its earliest days, and what we’ve seen so far is only the beginning. The cloud will be an enabler in the evolution and revolution of technology toward natural user interface, including voice, touch and motion capture, the proliferation of RFID, machine translation and more. It will enable governments to achieve massive efficiencies to better serve their constituents, and it will effectively level the playing field for companies and organizations of any size to compete on a global scale by removing the limits technology infrastructure previously imposed.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs