Is the cloud a greener way of doing business?

A recent UN report claims that the world has just 12 years left to take action on climate change. So it’s no wonder that sustainability is a hot topic.  And, in response, many businesses are now creating (or updating) their environmental and social impact policies to help make a positive impact on the world we all live in. One way that organisations are choosing to become more sustainable is by switching to cloud computing.

Transitioning frequently used on-premise applications to the cloud can cut energy consumption by 87%[1]

Cloud systems use less energy compared to traditional computing approaches

Hardware

Cloud-based hosted desktops can help to reduce your energy consumption and carbon emissions significantly. One way they do this is by reducing the amount of equipment you need to purchase and power. For example, purpose-built thin-clients consume much less energy than traditional desktop PCs. What’s more, by reducing the volume of physical equipment used, your organisation can reduce the resources required to dispose of this kit and the associated environmental impact.

Servers

In particular, the hardware needed to run an on-premise server needs to be powerful. And you can’t power down a server out of hours. And, while there are more efficient models on the market, the high cost of buying these means that most organisations don’t upgrade often enough to be capitalising on advances in green technology. Cloud services help organisations to do away with traditional energy-hungry servers.

In addition to the power necessary to make them run, most on-premise data centres require constant air conditioning to keep them cool. Such air conditioning is hugely detrimental to the environment. Hosted desktops help businesses to remove or reduce their reliance on air conditioning systems.

In most cases, cloud-data centres aren’t just secure; they are also designed to maximise energy efficiency. For example, because they are a shared resource, the energy used for cooling is spread across thousands of servers. The data centres and servers used by cloud-based hosted desktop providers are also likely to be upgraded in line with the latest energy-efficient models (because this makes them more cost-effective to run).

Processes

Cloud-hosted systems provide everyone with access to the data, applications and files they need to work effectively. For forward-thinking organisations, this is facilitating more home-working, and reducing the need to travel (either to the office or meetings). And, fewer vehicles on the road mean reduced carbon emissions. Furthermore, cloud-hosted systems are reducing paper usage. Today, almost everything you need to do can be done and stored electronically. This has an evident positive impact on the environment.

A smart and more sustainable way to do business

Crucially, as well as helping to boost your green credentials, hosted desktop solutions could help you make considerable savings on your energy bills. And, with energy prices forever on the rise, replacing ageing hardware with energy-efficient alternatives could have a significant impact on your bottom line. What’s more, cloud-first systems don’t just result in a lower carbon footprint; they also allow organisations to become more productive, operationally efficient and agile. And that makes good business sense.

If you want to move to the cloud to ensure that your IT systems are energy-efficient, sustainable, affordable, and helping to address global climate challenges, we can help.

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[1] Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in collaboration with Northwestern University