CodeFab’s annual not-for-profit mobile “hackathon,” Mobile DevCamp, will take place in New York City on April 27 to April 29, and this year, the conference’s focus is on cloud computing, last year’s biggest contributor to jobs in the technology sector in New York City.
Cloud computing, which remotely delivers services from “the cloud” via a network to servers, desktops, tablets, phones and laptops, will generate more than 60,000 jobs in New York in 2012, and will account for 17 percent of job growth in the city’s technology sector, according to a March report by the International Data Corporation (IDC). IDC is a research firm that provides information on market intelligence and advisory services for information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. Thanks to the heavy concentration of jobs in industries such as banking, communications, securities and professional services, New York City will be the largest beneficiary of cloud computing among the biggest metropolitan areas. As Crain’s New York noted, Microsoft sponsored the IDC white paper and is moving aggressively into cloud computing services.
Although the New York workforce makes up only 6 percent of the total United States’ workforce, it will account for more than 9 percent of the cloud computing generated jobs in the U.S. in 2012.
“Cloud computing provides increased efficiency to businesses by allowing them to invest in assets that will help increase revenue,” said Gene Buckley, specialists team unit director for Microsoft in New York City. “Jobs are created in sales and operations that contribute to the bottom line.”
Cloud computing allows companies to free up resources that can be invested elsewhere and leads to innovation and job growth. The report boldly projects that by 2015, cloud computing will create 14 million jobs worldwide, 1.17 million of which will be created in North America, and close to $1.1 trillion in new business revenue.
“Cloud computing is in its infancy,” said Buckley, “and we expect to see a tremendous evolution in how consumers interact with their devices.”
Other cloud providers, including Amazon, Google and AT&T, are also looking to persuade businesses to stop investing in implementing and managing their own data centers, and to instead utilize capacity provided by cloud computing servicers.
That is because cloud computing enables companies to access stored data, which runs via a network from a provider’s servers, so that companies do not have to run apps on their systems, making the process of accessing shared data and multi-tasking faster and simpler. Programs that run on the cloud do not require a technical team for maintenance or constant upgrades, which means companies can save money and operate more efficiently.
Businesses have been able to get projects up and running in less time thanks to cloud computing, which cuts the often tedious process of implementing new data systems down to a couple of days. As a result, more businesses are utilizing cloud computing to access and deliver services such as health records, product development and design, logistics and billing, faster and more effectively.
Companies are also using cloud computing to deliver their services to individual customers. In addition to providing access to personal files, such as photos, documents and music, consumers can access apps on the cloud for better quality games on their computers, tablets or smartphone devices. Through cloud gaming, a device’s specifications do not affect the graphics, as the picture quality is delivered via the cloud, which players can access anywhere and anytime.
“We have reached a point where the world of the cloud has become an important component of everyone’s personal, computing and digital life,” said Alex Cone, spokesperson for CodeFab and keynote speaker at this year’s Mobile DevCamp. “Up to this point, you were tied contextually to a desktop computer somewhere. Nowadays, the cloud makes it easy to access anything, including business documents or photos, from any device.”
A June 2011 survey conducted by Avanade, a business technology consulting firm created by Microsoft and Accenture, claims that 74 percent of businesses globally are using some aspect of cloud computing, a 25 percent increase since Avanade’s last survey in 2009.
Mobile DevCamp 2012, which will take place this weekend at AOL Ventures on 670 Broadway, gives technology enthusiasts the opportunity to create applications using cloud computing technology, and to win prizes for their apps in an Iron Chef-style competition.
From Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon, groups will participate in “hack like mad” festivities, creating software that utilizes cloud technology. The goal is to reinvent the way consumers use the cloud, and the group with the best in-house-developed application will win Apple iPad 3s.
“The goal is to have everyone get together and spend a weekend writing software and using technology,” said Cone. “We want people to discover new ways to use the cloud.”
If you’re a developer interested in attending this year’s Mobile DevCamp, check out Mobile DevCamp NYC 2012 (use the code WNET 13 for a 20 percent discount on the $50 admission for the weekend).
“It’s spectacular what people will come up with in a couple of days,” said Cone.
For more technology news, watch “MetroFocus: The Tech Economy,” airing on THIRTEEN on June 30 at 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and July 12 at 8:30 p.m.; on WLIW at 5:30 a.m. on June 30; on NJTV on July 1 at 5:30 a.m. and July 2 at 4:30 a.m.