published earlier this year called ‘Cloud computing – the IT solution for the 21st Century’.
The study reveals that companies in France and the UK plan to increase their adoption of cloud computing from 10 percent to almost 70 percent of their ICT spend, from now to 2020.
If this goes ahead, the economic and environmental benefits for both countries would be staggering: combined CO2 savings of ten million metric tons – equivalent to the annual emissions of over four million passenger vehicles – and combined yearly energy savings of €2.2 billion.
The cloud is all about improving the efficiency of IT operations. It can reduce up-front costs, meaning that companies are able to get moving straight away, reducing time to market. It also enables more efficient management of IT resources.
There is a huge amount of redundancy in traditional IT systems as they provision excessive amounts of IT resources year round to ensure that they can cope with the spikes in capacity that may take place as infrequently as once a month, or even once a year.
The cloud aggregates this excess capacity between different businesses or business units – a little bit like an insurance company
aggregates risk – so that the resources can be managed much more efficiently.
However the cloud does pose a problem that is close to CDP’s heart. Because the IT resources are aggregated between a large number of users, it is difficult to accurately measure and disclose the emissions associated with its use.
This is one of the reasons that CDP has developed an ICT sector module for our 2012 disclosure cycle.
We want to highlight the importance for cloud providers to communicate emissions information to their customers as well as champion those companies who are increasing the efficiencies of their data centers and looking into low- carbon sources of energy.
With the potential energy reductions from cloud computing adoption, I am optimistic about the role that it (and other technologies) can play in a low-carbon economy.
By helping companies decrease their carbon emissions, improve operational efficiency and decrease capital expenditure on IT resources, it simply makes business and environmental sense.
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