Research suggests that large companies in the UK plan to accelerate their adoption of cloud computing from 10 per cent to almost 70 per cent of their IT spend by 2020. Guy Daniels reports.
New research by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) shows that large UK companies that use cloud computing could achieve annual energy savings of £1.2 billion by 2020 and annual carbon reductions of 9.2 million tons – equivalent to the annual emissions of over four million passenger vehicles (see - Explanation: cloud).
Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman of the not-for-profit CDP said that a large percentage of global GDP is reliant on ICT:
“This is a critical issue as we strive to decouple economic growth from emissions growth.
The carbon emissions-reducing potential of cloud computing is a thrilling breakthrough, allowing companies to maximise performance, drive down costs, reduce inefficiency and minimise energy use – and therefore carbon emissions – all at the same time.”
However, he cautions that full transparency from providers on energy consumption and mix is an important step in providing further insight to users into CO2 reductions achieved. John Potter, Vice President of the imaginatively-named ‘As-a-Service Solutions’ division at AT&T added:
“By shifting to a mobile cloud, companies can have more productive information technology spending and less risk while capitalising on the innovation and value creation opportunities afforded in this era of mobile cloud computing.”
The report finds that a company that adopts cloud computing can reduce its energy consumption, lower its carbon emissions and decrease its capital expenditure on IT resources while improving operational efficiency. Paul Stemmler from Citigroup commented that although carbon reduction is certainly a factor, it’s not the main reason:
“The primary driver is time to market. Developers used to take 45 days to get new servers, but in the internal cloud infrastructure that we operate in our own private network, it takes just a couple of minutes.”
The analysis also looked at the French market and showed a disparity between the annual CO2 savings that can be achieved in France by 2020 (1.2 million metric tons) and the UK (9.2 million metric tons). It says that this can be attributed to the far higher percentage of France’s electricity generated from nuclear and renewable sources.
The research was conducted by independent analyst firm Verdantix and sponsored by AT&T. The full report is available here. It concludes by saying that with the forecasted move to the cloud, large UK and French companies can reduce CO2 emissions associated with their IT by 50 per cent, compared to predicted levels without cloud adoption.
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