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Carbon emissions data to become key factor in cloud purchases by 2025, predicts Gartner

With enterprises across the world looking to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly, Gartner claims carbon emissions data will become a key factor in the cloud purchasing decisions of IT buyers by 2025

Carbon emissions data will become a key selection consideration for IT buyers when sourcing hyperscale cloud services in the next three years, predicts Gartner.

The IT market watcher claims the amount of carbon emitted by cloud service providers will become an increasingly important factor for IT purchases by 2025, as environmental and sustainability concerns continue to rise up the boardroom agenda.

So much so, Gartner predicts carbon emissions will be a top-three criterion in cloud purchasing decisions by 2025, putting the hyperscale cloud giants under even more pressure to ensure they are running their datacentres in an environmentally friendly way.

This is on the back of Gartner’s own data, which shows more than 90% of organisations have stepped up their investments in sustainability since the start of the pandemic.

This is a trend that has not gone unnoticed by the hyperscale cloud providers, said Ed Anderson, distinguished research vice-president at Gartner.  

“Leading providers of cloud infrastructure and platform services are increasingly focusing on how they can disrupt higher-level business, compliance, societal and environmental issues,” he said.

“Hyperscalers are aggressively investing in sustainable cloud operations and delivery, aspiring to eventually achieve net-zero emissions within the decade, or sooner.”

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The past 18 months have seen the hyperscale cloud giants, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google, make public statements about their plans to ramp up their use of renewables and commit to curbing their carbon emissions in a variety of ways.

The colocation industry, which has grown larger during the pandemic as a result of the hyperscalers demanding ready access to datacentre capacity, have also followed suit.

Gartner said it expects the hyperscale cloud community to go even further by rolling out tools that will make it easier for enterprises to see how they could cut their carbon emissions by stepping up their use of cloud technologies, but that is still some way off at the moment.

“While essentially all cloud providers have sustainability initiatives in place, their progress in meeting carbon reduction goals and strategies for achieving net-zero carbon emissions varies wildly,” said Anderson.

“Sustainability metrics and workload placement tools are still immature and not always transparent, making it difficult for organisations to fully and accurately assess the true sustainability impacts of their cloud usage today.”

“As stakeholders continue to push organisations to improve their sustainability posture, the more progressive providers will share their sustainability information publicly,” he said. “Increasingly, stakeholder pressure will prompt them to include it in company disclosures, compliance and reporting.”

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