Both Cloud Computing and sustainability are emerging as transformative trends in business and society.
Cloud Computing was recently named the top technology for IT directors to be aware of in 2011 and there is little doubt that the business community has begun to embrace Cloud Computing as a viable option to reduce costs and to improve IT and business agility.
At the same time, as a recent Microsoft White Paper on sustainability and Cloud Computing discussed, sustainability continues to gain importance as a performance indicator for organisations and their IT departments. Corporate sustainability officers, regulators and other stakeholders have become increasingly focused on IT’s carbon footprint, and organisations are likewise placing more emphasis on developing long-term strategies to reduce their carbon footprint through more sustainable operations and products.
Like broadband and other technologies provided by the ICT sector, Cloud Computing
is emerging as a viable, scalable technology that can help significantly reduce carbon emissions by enabling new solutions for smart grids, smart buildings, optimised logistics and
dematerialisation. Broad adoption of Cloud Computing can stimulate innovation and accelerate the deployment of these enabled solutions. Consequently, Cloud Computing may have a major impact on global carbon emissions through indirect benefits in addition to the direct savings from replacement of on-premise infrastructure.
The Cloud advantage is particularly compelling for small deployments, because a dedicated
infrastructure for small user counts– as in a small business running its own servers–typically operates at a very low utilisation level and may be idle for a large part of the day.
For many small businesses, technology is a necessary headache that usually takes them out of their comfort zone. Technology is essential in business today but how many people understand their technical requirements? This often leads to either expensive or poorly implemented IT solutions.
Now, however, a range of Cloud-based services are being developed to take the stress away from small and medium-sized businesses by offering ‘switched on’ access to business services. One, Business On Demand is currently offering business a series of services – including Company Registration, Internet, Telephony Services, Software on Demand, eLearning, Accountancy and Inventory and Collaboration – all offered at a low monthly rate delivered when and where they want it.
That gives all sizes of business, from sole traders to 100 strong SMEs, back the time they need to focus on their core business, reducing their operational costs, eliminating the need for costly expertise and equipment, reducing the hassle associated with on premise solutions, and, most importantly, at the same time, reducing their carbon footprint.
How? Because generally speaking, the comparatively smaller carbon footprint of Cloud Computing is a consequence of both improved infrastructure efficiency and a reduced need for IT infrastructure to support a given user base. Energy use and emissions can be reduced by more than 90 percent with a shared Cloud service, taking advantage of dynamic provisioning: reducing wasted computing resources through better matching of server capacity with actual demand; multi-tenancy: flattening relative peak loads by serving large numbers of organisations and users on shared infrastructure; server utilisation: operating servers at higher utilisation rates; and data centre efficiency: utilising advanced data centre infrastructure designs that reduce power loss through improved cooling and power conditioning,