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The Future of Sustainability Lies in the Cloud

The Future of Sustainability Lies in the Cloud

No matter what type of business you run, managing data in the cloud has more benefits than you think. Aside from easy access to data anywhere and at any time, unlimited storage capacity, and cheaper costs, you’ll be doing the environment a huge favor. 

A study by Microsoft found that using cloud platforms like Azure can be up to 93% more energy-efficient than onsite solutions. But why is this?

Below are some reasons why cloud computing is the future of sustainability.

More Processing Power

When an organization keeps data in their onsite data center, they need to purchase more servers, routers, and other equipment if they want to scale. Data centers store your data locally. So, if you need to store more data, you need more of them. However, data centers are not very sustainable. Recent research published in the Journal of Science notes that the world’s data centers consumed 205 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2018. It used to be much higher. The Independent reports that global data center power consumption reached an all-time peak of 416 terawatt-hours back in 2015, before many businesses had adopted cloud solutions.

With a cloud-based infrastructure, you won’t need as many data centers in the building. Designers use PCB stackup impedance calculators to to measure the controlled impedance, crosstalk control, and interplane capacitance of a machine, including data centers. These are parts that enable the main circuit board to provide power to every component in the hardware. A cloud data center’s circuitry has a more connected stack of boards, so voltage transfer is much faster and more efficient.

This enables a single cloud data center to accomplish the same processing power as several onsite data centers. With a cloud data center, you won’t have to add as many machines, leading to less energy consumed overall.

Fewer Emissions

In 2020, cloud technology offers a particularly valuable perk: the option to go remote. And with fewer people on-premise, your office’s carbon footprint is significantly reduced.

For example, the average American who commutes to a job roughly 32 miles away produces 3.2 tons of carbon every year. Since commuting accounts for 98% of the average employee’s carbon footprint, the option to work from home cuts emissions immensely. Remote work will also decrease your office’s electricity and water consumption, further lowering your emissions and saving a lot of money.

Some cloud technology is also being run by providers who commit to renewable energy and other resources. Google was able to fully decarbonize its data in 2017, claiming that all workload processed by Google Cloud has zero net carbon emissions. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s cloud data centers are currently running on 60% renewable electricity. The company plans to increase this to 70% by 2023.

Paperless Operations

In the insurance and investment industry, you’re bound to get bogged down with a lot of paperwork, whether it’s in the form of contracts, questionnaires, and agreements, or other documents—perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of cloud computing is the reduction in physical documents. For example, a cloud-based ERP system can allow M&A professionals to exit Transition Service Agreements without the physical paperwork that comes with it.

You can even store and send important files and contracts through the cloud. Paper accounts for around 26% of total waste at landfills, and producing it requires a ton of energy, water, and trees. It’s a lot more sustainable to store information in the cloud.

Cloud computing has not only made our operations much easier to access and more efficient to process, but it has also lessened the burden on the environment. The sooner you look into cloud solutions, the better it will be for both you and the planet.

For more information about corporate sustainability, take a look at our insights on  renewable and sustainable energy.

Article written exclusively for Cyndx by Gwen Thomas.

Gwen Thomas is a long-time IT consultant and blogger who dedicates her time write about the latest technology in finance.

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