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Will switching to the cloud make your business green?

what to consider before moving to the cloud

Arthur Gaplanyan

Environmentally Friendly Technology

Cloud computing keeps rising in usage since it streamlines business operations. Around 60% of businesses have moved their work to the cloud.

It makes sense, since cloud computing adds flexibility, increases collaboration, and as prices keep coming down it’s on par with on premise physical servers, and possibly can save you money too. Plus, people say that it’s a “green” solution that is better for the environment.

One big part of the savings is the lack of needing to spend all that money on electricity to power your own server, not to mention the AC to keep it cool as those suckers get hot. But does lower energy consumption and a reduced carbon footprint make it a “green” solution?

Before you assume it does, you need to consider the entire situation and its impact on the environment.

Is Cloud Computing “Green”?

The first consideration you need to make is the provider of the cloud hosting. Sure, when you offload your servers to the cloud, you aren’t using all that electricity to power it, but the host is.  However, with their farm of servers there’s some scales of economy going on, which can take less power overall. In addition, many providers make commitments to use renewable energy. Others don’t. 

For instance, we provide cloud services utilizing Microsoft Azure servers. Azure has a sustainability goal set to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. They also will replenish more water than used and have a zero-waste certification by 2030. So do your research on who you plan to utilize for the wisest choice.

Cloud Computing Considerations

Going green isn’t the only positive to choosing cloud computing though.  As I mentioned, there’s benefits to productivity and flexibility brought on by cloud solutions. These are the other things to consider for switching to cloud computing.

To flesh that out, cloud computing enables access from any device at any location as long as you have an internet connection. That helps you and your team to always have access to your data, which improves ease and efficiency of work. That increases speed of collaboration and in turn productivity, which has a net benefit to your profitability.

Another positive is the improved physical safety with cloud computing. When your data is stored in the cloud, the physical risks drop greatly. Things like equipment failure, damage, and theft are at near zero instances.

Closely linked is the improved data backup available. Some datacenters have fail safes in place so if your server goes down you don’t lose access to your data. Regardless, you should be backing up your data, and cloud computing allows this to be done easily, and redundantly for a set and forget policy. In the event of an unforeseen disaster, such as a natural disaster, you can rest assured you will not lose your data.

Probably the greatest benefit of cloud computing is the improved scalability of your technology as you grow. You can easily increase storage and processing power as you need more, without needing to refresh your hardware.

Speaking of hardware refreshes, you don’t ever need to again. Physical servers are great machines, and we install them frequently. However, they have a lifespan to consider. Is your server over 5 years old? The average lifespan of a server is 5-8 years. Do you know if your server is still under warranty? It should always be under warranty.  These are investments you need to keep making with physical computing. When you don’t, not only do you take risk of failures with long recovery times, but you also are bottlenecked by the power of the server as it ages. None of these things are issues when you switch to a cloud environment.

Where do you go from here?

The benefits of cloud computing are huge. That’s why more and more businesses keep flocking to the cloud. Make sure to grab our free cloud computing checklist to get you up to speed the core principles involved in moving to the cloud.

There are some other considerations to make in your planning, mainly in security. If you’re considering the switch, get in touch and we can advise on the best scenarios for your business.