Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cloud computing's "green" credentials

By R. Edwin Pearce

The market for cloud computing has expanded quickly over the past few years, largely driven by its ability to deliver impressive economic benefits to cash-strapped organizations. But a new study finds that not only can cloud computing keep operations in the black, it also can help them be "green."

Pike Research reports that the growth of cloud computing will have important implications for both energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In fact, by 2020, cloud computing will lead to a 38 percent reduction in worldwide data center energy expenditures, compared to a business-as-usual scenario, Pike Research reports.

“The growth of cloud computing will have a very significant positive effect on data center energy consumption,” says Pike Research Senior Analyst Eric Woods. “Few, if any, clean technologies have the capability to reduce energy expenditures and GHG production with so little business disruption. Software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and platform-as-a-service are all inherently more efficient models than conventional alternatives, and their adoption will be one of the largest contributing factors to the greening of enterprise IT.”

To be sure, cloud computing's "green" credentials and environmental impact aren't the top reasons for organizations to deploy the technology. But they are certainly incremental benefits, particularly for organizations that list environmental sustainability among their strategic objectives.

R. Edwin Pearce is executive vice president of sales and corporate development for eGistics, Inc., a leading provider of hosted document management solutions. Pearce can be reached at 214-256-4607 or via

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