New research commissioned by Microsoft indicates adoption of public cloud generated revenues worth six per cent of GDP in 2022.
The research, conducted by IDC, calculated public cloud adoption generated NZ$23.9 billion in new revenues for New Zealand businesses in 2022, or around six per cent of GDP.
By 2026, cloud delivery was expected to add $21 billion more to the economy and generate 134,000 new jobs.
Titled "Public cloud services opportunities and dividends" the research showed adoption of public cloud had risen steadily since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as organisations sought to increase their capabilities and optimise costs.
IDC said this trend was set to accelerate as organisations embraced public cloud for digital transformation.
Microsoft New Zealand national technology officer Russell Craig said the arrival of Microsoft’s first New Zealand hyperscale datacentre region had spurred local organisations to explore public cloud.
“The beauty of public cloud computing is its deflationary effect," he said. "It enables organisations to free up IT resources so they can spend more time innovating on new services and technologies that benefit their business and customers, and create greater efficiencies for the wider business."
Major enterprises like ASB and Fonterra and public sector organisations like Auckland Transport were migrating to the new region for this reason, Craig said.
SMBs would be able to access the same technologies as those enterprises without having to invest in their own infrastructure and benefiting from investment in security and AI an a vast pool of data that was driving upgrades and improvements.
"The pandemic has helped create the realisation that businesses who are tapped into public cloud systems are more resilient and more competitive," Craig said.
Customer investment in cloud computing also drove revenue growth for organisations in the supplier ecosystem such as systems integrators, software providers and professional services providers.
The IDC study showed spending on public cloud in New Zealand was expected to double in the next five years, from $2.6 billion in 2022 to $5.1 billion in 2026.
The whitepaper noted that managing cloud environments required specialised capabilities and availability had not been able to keep up with demand.
However, just 20 per cent of the new roles created would be technical roles in IT. Digital literacy would therefore be required of almost every worker as use of cloud expanded. Organisations should therefore be investing in training their existing workforce to build cloud knowledge and capabilities.
Vanessa Sorenson, managing director of Microsoft New Zealand, said the vendor had been investing in initiatives to train students, workers and career-changers for the public cloud era.
“The greater innovation cloud brings can’t be fully realised unless we bring in as many people from as many backgrounds as possible with different ways of thinking and seeing the world," she said.
Microsoft NZ, which cracked $1 billion in revenue last year, had been working to address the underrepresentation of women, Māori and Pacific Island peoples in tech alongside customers such as Auckland Transport.
"The more people with digital skills we have, the more we all benefit, so we encourage every organisation to think about how they’re preparing for hyperscale cloud,” Sorenson said.