Cloud computing offers a variety of advantages over traditional hardware-based networks for enterprises. In addition to the commonly discussed benefits in accessibility, data security and storage costs, cloud computing also makes it possible for your business to be environmentally-conscious while lowering total expenditures.
In short, going green via the cloud offers enterprises a way to save money and help lessen the overall consumption of power.
Cloud computing offers three major efficiency advantages over traditional computing systems:
Diversity: The dispersal of an enterprise-level workload across several computers and users in multiple regions is a much more efficient way to process data.
Scalability: Larger data processing loads become incrementally cheaper as their size increases, which is the exact opposite of traditional networks. This is primarily a result of cloud-based data processing sharing larger tasks among an increasing number of machines, by design.
Flexibility: Virtual server management in cloud applications is considerably cheaper and easier than managing their physical counterparts.
Multiple studies have shown that cloud computing can lead to massive, long-term financial and ecological savings for companies. An AT&T-sponsored report from research firm Verdantix announced that cloud computing could allow companies to save and estimated $12.3 billion off their energy bills, annually. This energy savings would directly translate into carbon emission savings of 85.7 million metric tons per year by 2020. A Microsoft-sponsored study has shown that moving to cloud-based business applications could reduce a larger company's associated per-user carbon footprint by 30 percent. Smaller, less efficient businesses can expect to lower their per-user carbon footprint by as much as 90 percent. Cloud computing could also lead to a 38 percent drop in world wide data center energy use by 2020, compared to what the expected data center energy consumption growth rate would be with traditional computing according to a study by Pike Research.
Even more interesting is developments in the field of cloud-based data centers that are themselves powered by renewable energy. Apple's massive solar-powered cloud computing data center in North Carolina is an example of innovation in green-powered data centers. Currently, building such an expensive center is really only cost-effective for large-scale data service operators. However, the continual, exponential demand for web-based data services will most likely lead to growth in the size of currently existing providers, so it would be a safe bet to expect more green-powered data centers to arise in the near future.
Since much of the global GDP relies upon internet technology and services, innovations in cloud-based computing directly affects the bottom line of the collective business world's bottom line. The benefits shown in cloud computing makes sustainability not only attainable, but desirable. The relationship between innovation and emissions growth has been shown to be effectively decoupled with the growth in cloud-based data services. Companies can now drive down total costs, be more efficient and minimize their effect on the environment all at once. As our dependence on internet technology, mobile applications and data services continues to grow, the focus on ways to save money and protect the environment will only become more important.