Seeking a Greener Computing Solution? Look to the Cloud

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

The cloud has proven to be a boon to mid-sized businesses seeking an efficient and economical solution to their computing needs, but what’s more is that a new study suggests that the benefits of cloud computing may go far beyond simple dollars and cents. According to a recent report, cloud computing has brought about an 80 percent reduction in electricity consumption in public- and private-sector businesses that use it.

This particular study was carried out by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, in cooperation with Microsoft Europe, London’s Imperial College, the U.K.’s Reading University, and Harvard University. In addition to noting the dramatically reduced consumption of electricity, the study projected that conversion to cloud-computing technologies could save more than $2 billion in nationwide energy expenditures each year.

What’s more is that these cost savings can be leveraged as a marketing tool, convincing businesses in growing and emerging markets to convert to cloud computing. The study concludes that if and when cloud computing reaches its full potential, it could contribute to a 95 percent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.

Mid-sized businesses stand to benefit a great deal from cloud computing not only in the arena of energy savings, but also in the forums of efficiency and customer service. Cloud computing is proven to increase workplace efficiency, which inherently delivers financial savings, and it also tends to force a streamlining of internal operations. By converting internal email systems, customer relationship management tools, and groupware to the cloud, mid-sized businesses can also provide superior service to both new and existing customers. These internal efficiency improvements are particularly important to mid-sized firms, which tend to operate within very tight financial and budgetary constraints, and must carefully allocate available resources and extract the maximum possible value from all company assets.

Given these advantages, the study suggests that mid-sized businesses that take full advantage of cloud computing solutions put themselves at a competitive advantage. The cloud holds great potential as a money-saving measure, but it also helps companies brand themselves as environmentally responsible at a time when ecological awareness is reaching new heights among the consumer base.