Which Companies Are Generating Profits From Cloud Computing?

This article was written with Oliver Pursche, of Gary Goldberg financial network. It was part of a series of articles developed under an agreement with minyanville.com to work with a variety of contributors and assist them in delivering actionable investment ideas each week.

We all know how slowly our economy is growing, and how few new jobs are being created. But there is one industry that is growing rapidly: Cloud computing. And it’s about to generate significant profits – by some estimates, as much as $1.1 trillion per year in revenue by 2015 will be generated by cloud computing. According to a March 2012 International Data Corporation (IDC) study, these monies will likely be reinvested to grow the burgeoning sector, thereby creating nearly 14 million new jobs. While mobility and social media will play a big role in the growth of cloud computing, it will be our endless desire for more video and other “heavy duty” content that will drive one of the largest segments of cloud computing: Data storage.

(Caveat: The IDC study was sponsored by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which of course has a vested interest in cloud computing.)

According to the study, the United States may gain as many as 1.1 million of these jobs. But for investors, the news is even better: The leading companies in cloud computing are all right here in the good old US of A.

As I’ve written many times, companies at the forefront of innovation and new technologies – even if they are decidedly non-tech, such as food manufacturers or retailers – tend to have a significantly higher returns than the market average. VMware (NYSE:VMW) and Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) are two of the smaller and more aggressive names in the space, but don’t overlook some of the more familiar large-cap stocks. Companies like IBM (NYSE:IBM), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), and Microsoft are also growing their cloud businesses.

If you are looking for more domain-focused opportunities in cloud computing, here are some well known and not so well known companies exploiting various niches.

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