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Is Cloud Computing Environmentally Friendly?

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March 12, 2023

In the modern business world, it is impossible to ignore the importance of sustainability and greener operations. Innovation around the globe is gearing towards more eco-friendly solutions so that everyone is doing their bit to protect the environment. Even large corporations like Google and Apple are making changes to the way they operate in an effort to reach a carbon-neutral solution.

There are many things businesses can do to help reduce things like carbon emissions and waste. One thing you may not have considered is making the switch from a physical IT system to a cloud-based one. There are many practical advantages to making this shift and one of them is that it can be better for the environment.

 

Is cloud computing a green technology?

 

The data centres that run cloud computing systems use a lot of energy. Many make the effort to use renewable energy for as much of their operations as possible. But there is no escaping the fact that fossil fuel energy will be powering their operations to some degree. As things stand, fossil fuel energy is a substantial part of the national grid. This is slowly changing and it may accelerate in the near future, but for the time being it is very difficult to avoid fossil fuels completely.

However, if hundreds of businesses are using the cloud capabilities of a single data centre, this is better for the environment than businesses having local servers. If all those businesses were hosting their own systems, that would be potentially millions of servers all around the world consuming energy and creating emissions. Moreover, there would be far more individual pieces of hardware that would consume energy to manufacture but then eventually reach the end of their lifespan and end up as waste.

 

In what ways is cloud computing eco-friendly?

 

The modern world needs technology to operate. And all this technology requires energy to run. As long as the national energy infrastructure continues using energy from fossil fuels, cloud computing cannot be a perfect solution. However, there are many reasons why it is significantly better than businesses using their own servers. Here are some of them.

 

Superior Infrastructure

Cloud computing data centres are usually situated closer to the facilities that give them power. This helps prevent losses due to transmitting electricity over long distances. Local data servers are usually located on the company’s premises unless your business has enough budget to build its own data centres.

Moreover, with superior hardware, cloud computing servers typically have lower wattage for things like cooling and backup power. This means they are more energy efficient, and technology is constantly evolving to enhance this.

 

A Greater Utilisation Rate

Companies using their own servers and data centres have low utilisation rates as they set up their systems to cope with usage spikes. Most of the time, these spikes don’t occur, so much of the server’s capabilities go unused. Hardware that sits idle is inefficient and bad for the environment.

Cloud infrastructure consolidates the use of machines, meaning utilisation rates remain high for a more efficient performance.

 

Hardware Refresh Speed is Better

The hardware in company servers tends to only be replaced or upgraded every now and then. Hardware in cloud computing data centres is replaced more frequently because it has a higher usage rate and also because improvements in energy efficiency are beneficial for the hosting provider’s bottom line.

More energy-efficient hardware means lower energy consumption and carbon emissions. Thus, it is better for the environment in the big picture.

 

Electricity Use is Low

On-premise company servers are high maintenance as they need uninterrupted power supplies, cooling and lots of electricity. Electricity consumption is reduced immensely when you switch software to the cloud.

A study funded by Google by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US found that by moving business software like CRM or ERP to the cloud on a national scale, enough electricity could be saved to power Los Angeles for an entire year. This amounts to a reduction in total energy consumption of around 87%.

This is a staggering figure that really illustrates the difference that could be made if enough businesses made certain collective choices.

 

A Lower Climate Impact

Energy efficiency improvements brought about by cloud computing help to reduce climate impact by lowering carbon emissions. Corporate data centres use a ‘dirtier’ power mix than large-scale cloud providers.

Part of this is climate control costs. Not only are companies consuming electricity with their servers but they are also powering climate control systems like air conditioning to keep hardware operating at peak level and reduce risks of overheating.

 

Is NetSuite environmentally friendly?

 

NetSuite is a cloud-based business solution used by over 80,000 businesses globally. It’s offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), meaning businesses access it via the cloud through a subscription model. This means that businesses don’t require on-premise servers to run the software.

Businesses using traditional on-premise ERP require infrastructure such as servers to be able to host and run their software on-site. If 50 companies in a single location were doing this, that would be 50 company data centres all operating independently and consuming significant amounts of power.

If those same 50 businesses were all using NetSuite, they would be connecting to a far smaller number of data centres. These cloud data centres would be specially designed to maximise energy efficiency at every turn, so the overall carbon footprint of businesses in that location would be significantly smaller.

So in a nutshell, you could say that NetSuite is more environmentally friendly than more traditional on-premise ERP solutions.

 

Conclusion

 

The key is that, whilst cloud computing is not entirely green, it is vastly superior to the alternative. Businesses looking to improve their environmental credentials should definitely have cloud computing on their radar. The benefits are not just environmental – hosting software in the cloud could bring about efficiency improvements and save your business lots of money.

The cloud is such a huge part of the modern world. Businesses that are not getting in on this technology could quickly find themselves struggling to compete. If you need advice on how your business could benefit from cloud technology, get in touch with a reputable and experienced vendor who can offer advice about moving your business to the cloud.

You might also like our article How to Combat Rising Energy Costs in Your Business, which offers simple ways to reduce costs in your business whilst also helping to reduce your businesses carbon footprint.

 

Why choose Eventura for your digital transformation journey?

 

Eventura has been helping businesses digitally transform and move their operations to the cloud for two decades. From the implementation of industry-leading cloud ERP solutions such as Sage 200 and NetSuite, to helping them move their entire operations to the cloud and away from costly and restrictive on-premise solutions.

As well as being NetSuite Solution Providers, Sage 200 Partners and Microsoft Gold Partners, we also offer a wide range of managed IT services, meaning we can take your business as a whole and help it achieve digital transformation.

If you would like to speak to one of our experts, you can request a free call back here.

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