Business sustainability: how the cloud can help you be green

With the cost of energy increasing steadily while profits go the other way, many companies find themselves under immense pressure to remain profitable. The shift toward technologies such as cloud, analytics and social media has resulted in demands for greater computing power to deliver services around the clock. Nowadays, more IT execs are realising how the cloud can be used to not only make businesses operate with elevated efficiency, but also reduce the cost involved in building an IT infrastructure that meets the demands of the business. By minimising operational overheads required to implement IT systems, businesses also stand to reduce their energy consumption. This blog takes a look at how cloud computing helps organisations operate with increased agility whilst reducing their carbon footprint.

Converged computing means a smaller carbon footprint

I often come across businesses with server rooms full of hardware grinding away: consuming massive amounts of energy to deliver business applications and services. Each of these servers handle a specific task such as email, accounting software and updates. With cloud and virtualisation becoming the norm, multiple software instances are allowed to run on a single hardware platform, thus reducing fiscal and environmental cost. Less machines mean less power usage. The use of application programming interfaces (APIs) – another innovation that is intrinsic to the cloud – allows programmes on totally different systems to communicate with each other, bringing better operability, efficiency and work output.

Shared resources

It’s much cheaper to place your information assets in large data centres that exist in the cloud, as the processing power is shared and scaled out to multiple arrays of servers. It’s expensive and complex to create and maintain one such environment for just one business. Cloud service providers – by making use of the combined and collective effect of the cloud – can offer unmatched resources and efficiency.

Pay-per-use brings operational costs down exponentially

SaaS (Software as a Service) payment is usually done on a month-to-month basis, so you pay for what you use. No need to shelf workstations in lean work periods or scramble to get systems working when work demand is increased. Lowering costs are a vital part of business sustainability and pay-per-use models allow businesses to scale up or downwards without breaking budgets.

Energy saving practices

Cloud providers – in the interest of reducing operational costs and being environmentally aware – invest in energy reducing technology and systems that are inherently more efficient. These systems also generate less heat and noise by leveraging the latest energy efficient technology to run their data centres.

Redundancy comes built-in

Redundant and failover systems used by cloud providers ensure that as close to a 100 percent up-time is maintained which is something that a small IT department will find difficult to guarantee. Many of these systems are automated and require minimal intervention by dedicated personnel who can be used more productively and proactively.

Mobility means agility

Applications like Skype and others allow for remote work and save on time and travel costs, which have a direct effect on fuel and carbon emissions. Working from the comfort of your home has become very real in the interconnected age we live in.

Innovative thinking is changing the way we live, work and play
There are a plethora of cloud applications that can be leveraged, such as applications that can improve efficiency and productivity and even business continuity. Besides the financial implications of reduced costs, cloud computing can be used as a valuable weapon to promote business sustainability. Becoming environmentally friendly is the future of our lives, not just our businesses.

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