Blog | December 6, 2012

Cloud Computing Sustainability is Proven!

by ddonoughe in Digital Asset Management, Marketing Operations

Businesses are constantly adopting new ways to become more efficient, save money, and even reduce their carbon footprint.  Being “sustainability conscious” is a trend we’ve been seeing a lot more of in recent years.  We have witnessed an exponential increase in environmental influence occur in our lifetimes, and now people are exploring options that will help their environment by means of business innovation. In addition to more traditional means such as moving to recycled office materials or renewable energy sources, moving to the cloud presents an amazing opportunity to give the earth a much needed break. It is almost too simple—why not cut down on all the unnecessary energy and resources that are sucked up by depreciating hardware in those gargantuan in-house server systems? Not to mention the maintenance, upkeep, and frequent upgrades.

Certainly, there have been those who question the reality of the sustainability of cloud solutions, but looking at some major studies on the topic, the truth becomes quite clear. A study by Pike Research concludes that cloud computing will decrease global data energy expenditures by 38% by 2020.  That is a lot of energy, not to mention a lot of business cash! As Senior Analyst, Eric Woods, explains, “The growth of cloud computing will have a very significant positive effect on data center energy consumption. Few, if any, clean technologies have the capability to reduce energy expenditures and GHG [Green House Gas] production with so little business disruption.” Experts have proven the environmental advantages of the cloud, which supports the growing trend towards the cloud for business.

Cloud computing is by far the most sustainable option for corporations. The adoption of more efficient models like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other services that move infrastructure into the cloud will continue to be an advanced shift for enterprise IT, reducing their carbon footprint and business challenges. In addition, this conclusion is from purely an energy use perspective and thus does not even take into account the inherent environmental rewards of reducing the amount of hardware required with traditional systems, nor the huge fiscal benefits and competitive advantage of moving to the cloud.

What fiscal benefits you ask? Another study by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) discovered that by 2020 large companies in the US alone can save $12.3 billion in energy costs by moving their assets to the cloud! It only gets better—the study also found that the annual carbon reductions of moving to the cloud will result in a decrease equivalent to 200 million barrels of oil. To put this in terms that might be easier to relate to, if just the largest US companies decided to switch over to using cloud solutions, they would save enough energy to power an extra 5.7 million cars a year. One can only imagine the huge environmental rewards of the cloud across the global business world at large.

All in all, the answer is clear — cloud computing is arguably the most sustainable decision a company can make. The scale of the advantages is simply astounding. While a company makes enormous savings on energy costs and hardware purchases, our environment would be able to breathe much easier with consolidated and efficient cloud computing data centers significantly reducing the outpour of Green House Gasses as well as upwards of 200 million barrels of oil worth of carbon emissions. Cloud computing is the complete Green and forward-thinking package. In an effort to preserve our planet, you will also find a nice reward of extra $Green$ in your pocket!