Use The Cloud To Help The Environment
When the cloud is discussed it is usually highlighted as beneficial thanks to its cost saving capabilities, along with possessing other advantages such as improved IT scalability.
However, one often overlooked aspect of cloud computing is that it has the potential to actually help your company shrink its carbon footprint and operate in a more sustainable, environmentally responsible manner.
While the cloud is no miracle solution that can instantly transform a bog standard firm into an eco-friendly entity, there are some clear advantages to using the cloud that will help you be a bit kinder to the planet without having to make any sacrifices. If handled properly you could even save money, which is a welcome bonus.
But what makes the cloud an environmentally conscious IT option and should your company consider this as one of the main reasons to adopt?
Most in-house IT setups fall into one of two categories. Your business could be home to a sprawling system that is designed to cope with peak period demands, but for the most part sits idle which is a waste of resources and the energy required to power them.
Alternatively you could be stuck with something that does not live up to your requirements when capacities increase but has to be retained because of budgetary constraints.
Both scenarios result in inefficiencies which migration to the cloud can help to overcome through its economies of scale.
When you invest in the cloud you are given access to a slice of remote storage and processing capacity housed at a dedicated data center.
During downtime or off-peak periods when your company does not require a hugely powerful IT infrastructure at its beck and call, you need only use a small portion of your provider’s services. Then when demand ramps up you can simultaneously scale up your cloud-based resources to help your company cope.
This means you are not needlessly using electricity to power systems that are rarely being used to their full potential, while companies which feel restricted by the limitations of in-house hardware can break free of these shackles.
Transport consumes vast amounts of energy and fills the atmosphere with damaging gases, so any chance to reduce the amount of traveling that is required should be jumped upon with eagerness.
Cloud computing can help to cut down on the need for long distance travel for businesses in two main ways.
Firstly, by hosting mission-critical apps and data in the cloud you will be making it much easier for employees to work remotely rather than having to come into the office.
This is not only useful for disaster recovery and business continuity, but means that it will not be necessary for everyone to make the daily commute throughout the working week.
Secondly, various cloud services mean that there is less need for staff to travel to meet with clients and business partners in person.
The use of the cloud for hosting VoIP and video conferencing allows you to hold meetings, presentations and business seminars with multiple participants even if none of them happen to be in the same physical space.
The upshot of this is that you will also improve productivity because there is no need to spend hours each day or even entire days getting from A to B – so this saves money as well as being an environmentally beneficial solution.
Cloud computing becomes more efficient and eco-friendly the more widely it is used, so it makes sense for businesses to start adopting it sooner rather than later. That way, the entire planet can reap the benefits.
The author, Jamie Garner, works for Daisy Group, a leading provider of cloud computing and telecommunications services to businesses.