Businesses moving to the cloud was a thing long before the Covid-19 pandemic. But how coronavirus affected the way organizations were forced to get creative with workplace productivity and physical space definitely pushed us all collectively toward cloud IT solutions that would accommodate remote and hybrid work models.
Back when we first published this article on moving to the cloud, no one could’ve guessed these business structures would remain permanent. But they are. (That’s actually turning out to be a good thing – although they do inherently create some management and cybersecurity challenges.) Pandemic fast-tracking aside, cloud computing and data storage have in many ways built a new foundation for reliability, innovation and growth.
And as a pleasant side effect, decreasing reliance on traditional, dedicated network servers has a positive impact on the environment.
Considering Moving to the Cloud for Business? Honestly, It’s the Best Call
With access to the cloud comes agility and flexibility, both of which are vital to meet changing consumer and market demands. It’s been almost 20 years since Google unveiled Google Docs, a digital cloud resource for document sharing, and in the past 10 years the technology has improved dramatically to accommodate literally all business IT needs.
At the same time, companies are facing increasing pressure to solve large socioeconomic challenges and operate as responsible businesses. IT departments must guide their companies with the right technology decisions that will accelerate progress in this shift to more responsible and sustainable practices.
In other words: going green.
“We’re now finding that sustainable cloud migration is another way that companies can significantly reduce global carbon (CO2) emissions and meet climate change commitments,” explains Diana Bersohn in her article 3 Considerations for Reducing Carbon Footprints with Cloud. “A new Accenture analysis shows that, with the appropriate sustainability approach, public cloud migrations can reduce global CO2 emissions by 59 million tons per year, which represents a 5.9% reduction in total IT emissions. This magnitude of reduction equates to taking 22 million cars off the road — you can imagine it will go a long way in meeting climate change commitments, especially for data intensive businesses.”
In addition to the significant environmental impact, moving to the cloud for business creates benefits of greater workload flexibility, better server utilization rates and more energy-efficient infrastructure.
“Our analysis shows that companies are realizing up to 30-40% total cost of ownership savings from public cloud,” adds Bersohn, “looking holistically at server compute, network and IT labor costs.”
3 Green Factors to Consider If Your Business Plans on Moving to the Cloud
Moving to the cloud is a big shift that would naturally require some adaptation and staff buy-in to keep up. Your IT department – whether it’s an actual department, a department by committee or a team of one – must begin by taking an end-to-end look at your organization’s individual cloud journey. It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all process.
It requires careful analysis, planning, designing and execution to ensure the cloud strategy meets business requirements and facilitates your business model.
Let’s have a look at the following three factors for sustainability and profitability.
1. Your Business Cloud Ambition
Essentially, how far do you want to – and could your business conceivably – go with your cloud technology and sustainable environmental benefits? We believe it’d be helpful to first figure this out.
Bersohn notes three “ambition levels” in the journey toward a sustainable cloud:
- Strategic migrations without major redesign
- Application of sustainable software engineering practices
- Application optimization for the “fabric of the cloud.”
Their study showed “initial cloud migrations alone can reduce carbon emissions by more than 84% compared with conventional infrastructure. Reductions can be pushed even higher — up to 98% — by designing applications specifically for the cloud.”
2. Your Cloud Provider
You must next select a carbon-thoughtful provider. Don’t take it just from us. Bersohn writes, “Cloud operators set different sustainability commitments that determine how they plan, build, power, and retire their data centers. Differences arise from varying ranges of corporate investments in renewable energy generation, the reusability and recyclability of data center hardware, and advanced analytics for better management of asset operations. And cloud customer-facing services like transparent real-time reporting of associated carbon emissions can help track actuals against sustainability goals.”
3. Cloud-Enabled Sustainability & Innovation
Innovation is one of the greatest 21st-century buzzwords. With tech changes flying at businesses faster than they can adapt, they must be progressive and innovative to take advantage of technology while it lasts. In terms of sustainability and green, the mode has been the more the better.
Bersohn writes, “Leading companies are pushing further when it comes to innovation; going beyond data center carbon improvements. Cloud providers have unique scale and financial incentives and can work closely with stakeholders in adopting the circular economy when it comes to hardware. Our estimates show enterprise technology manufacturers can capture an additional 16% of operating profit by designing products for longevity, modularity and circularity.”
So How Can Acme Business Help with Your Cloud for Business Needs?
At Acme Business we have Certified Cloud Operations of Tier 4, which exceeds FBI security. The benefits of moving to the cloud is great news for small businesses and their employees. Here at Acme Business, we are fully equipped to manage and protect your cloud. We do this for clients every day!
Acme stays up to date with the highest levels of security. The latest Department of Defense contracts are choosing Microsoft as a cloud host, with Acme being credentialed by the United States Attorney General and as a Microsoft Partner we are qualified to handle any cloud transformational need you may have.