Cloud computing can make firms green and clean


Cloud-computing solutions can lead to significant cost savings for businesses, as well as large reductions in the size of an organization’s carbon footprint.

Cloud computing can make businesses greener and in turn cleaner, according to a new report. The study published in The International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management demonstrates that the adoption of integrated cloud-computing solutions can lead to significant cost savings for businesses, as well as large reductions in the size of an organization’s carbon footprint.

The research was carried out by Dietmar Nedbal and Mark Stieninger of The University of Applied Science Upper Austria, and focuses on the case of a mid-sized firm in Austria specializing in the production of safety boots. The company switched from a paper- to an e-invoicing system offered through a cloud-computing solution provider on a ’software as a service’ (SaaS) basis. The researchers have calculated that a complete switch to e-invoicing has the potential to reduce costs by up to 62 percent and slash the related carbon footprint by over half.

“It seems that the higher the degree of implementation and the higher the degree of displacement of ‘common’ components of IT infrastructure, such as servers and PCs, the greener the business gets,” says Nedbal. Nevertheless, he says, “It is necessary for a reliable before-and-after comparison to consider the complete system proportionally, taking into account the energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions ‘moved’ to the cloud computing data center.”

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