Cloud computing is changing the way the world does business by allowing businesses and individuals to use and share files, applications and data over the Internet. Data can now be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection, reducing the need for companies to power and maintain their own servers. This is not only more convenient, but it also cuts technology and energy costs. Whether cloud computing is used for backing up files, updating software or replacing onsite data centers, switching to the cloud is a great way for your business to become “greener.” Here are three reasons cloud computing should be part of your business' green agenda.
The Cloud is Paperless
One of the advantages of cloud computing is that it makes data more easily stored and shared. With mobile and desktop compatible applications, remote collaboration is easier than ever, and it minimizes the need for paper notes and handouts. The paper-making process puts extreme strain on the environment, and is the fourth-largest energy-consuming industry in the United States.
Any strategy to reduce the quantity of office paper used can make your business greener, and cloud computing is one way to facilitate a paperless office. For example, in a meeting or conference, employees can take notes or photos with a smartphone or tablet using apps like Evernote or Google Drive. That information is then stored on the cloud for sharing and editing on any computer or mobile device.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Onsite servers and data centers are extremely inefficient, raising business' electric bills. According to the EPA, only 5 to 15 percent of the energy consumed by onsite data centers is actually used. Vast amounts of energy are wasted because servers need to be on standby for any sudden increases in usage. In addition to the cost of running servers, businesses need to maintain a cooling system to prevent servers from overheating.
Because cloud computing servers are shared, usage is consistently higher, meaning they are able to run at closer to 50 percent efficiency. Ultimately, cloud computing relieves businesses of needing onsite servers, drastically reducing electricity bills.
Save on Hardware and Software Expenses
Before cloud computing, in order to update software, businesses and individuals needed to purchase a physical copy of the software and install it on individual servers and computers. This not only delays how quickly software can be updated, but the environmental impact of packing and shipping is significant. Thanks to cloud computing, software is available online and is accessible anywhere with an Internet connection. In addition to preventing the environmental harm associated with packaging and shipping, cloud computing reduces the need for onsite servers, saving office space and computer hardware.
There are plenty of ways for your office to go green, but few have as much cost-cutting potential as adopting cloud computing strategies. With cloud computing, your business can save costs on energy, shipping and technology, all while supporting a healthier environment. And with all of that saved money, your business can purchase a renewable energy plan and become even more environmentally friendly.
Clint Robertson is a freelance writer who has held numerous positions in the energy industry. His work promotes ways to reduce our carbon footprint through the development and utilization of renewable energy sources. You can reach out to him directly on twitter.