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Cloud Computing: Understanding the Environmental Benefits of Modern Technology

Environmental sustainability is an essential aspect that many businesses are taking advantage of. As the world becomes more conscious of their contribution to the demise of natural resources, many have begun to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint by going green. Businesses, realizing the importance to their consumers have also begun to look for methods to reduce their company's environmental impact. A popular method for accomplishing this has been to go paperless.

Cloud Computing: The Paperless Option for Businesses

Going paperless essentially means eliminating the need for hard copy materials and essentially setting up digital forms and files for corporate use. While there are several avenues in which businesses can take to go paperless, many have invested in cloud computing services which allow them to store all files electronically. 

While it may not seem as if cloud computing is an eco-friendly option at first glance, a closer understanding of this technology may make you think twice. While sustainability is certainly important, you also want to know what methods they use as it pertains to a secure server. How is your company's data protected? How is it backed up, should something go wrong? 

According to the Guardian, companies who switch their data to the cloud could cut their carbon emissions in half. Here are a few more ways cloud computing technologies help improve sustainability within an organization.

Saves on Energy

Deciding to move to the cloud could potentially generate a large amount of energy savings for businesses. Here's how:

·  Fewer Machines – In a typical business environment (without cloud technologies), server utilization can be extremely high. Essentially staff requires several computers and technological equipment to get the work done in the course of a day. However, by incorporating cloud technology, which allows users to utilize shared data on fewer servers, can decrease the server utilization rates. Shared data centers essentially mean fewer machines to get the same amount of work done in a day.

·  Efficient Equipment – By transferring business data sources to the cloud, the data is monitored and stored through cloud providers with larger data centers. Larger data centers of course utilize energy saving equipment and systems that work just as efficiently.

·  Better Allocated Resources – Storing data in house requires several servers, particularly when handling large loads of data. However, companies who have switched to the cloud eliminate the need for extra servers and long idle times. Cloud providers can essentially designate resources whenever necessary resulting in fewer machines sitting idle when data times are not as high.

Finding A Cloud Provider

Essentially, cloud computing technologies provide more than just a platform for businesses to go paperless. It cuts back on the need for multiple servers, employs the use for more efficient equipment, and eliminates the need for underused equipment, while still allowing businesses to utilize their data whenever they need it most. Be that as it may, it is important to point out that not all cloud service providers are created equally. As such, you must do a little research so that you're selecting a cloud service provider that employs all of the above benefits for your organization. Below are a few questions you should consider asking:

·  What Renewable Resources Do You Use? – What sources does the cloud service provider use for powering their data centers? Do they partly or wholly utilize solar energy, or other renewable alternatives? If not, do they intend to in the near future?

·  Are Their Data Centers Efficient? – What sustainability standards or achievements has the data center accomplished? Do they have an LEED certification, or Energy Star recognition? Is their data center designed using the most efficient equipment and technologies?

·  What Are Their Server Utilization Statistics? – Is the company consistently seeking ways to minimize the number of servers they must use?

Cloud computing technologies are certainly beneficial in terms of sustainability for businesses of all sizes. Some of the largest gaming tech companies have taken notice and built their technology infrastructure in the cloud. If you have considered investing in such services, be sure that you've done your research to locate a service provider that encompasses all of the above mentioned benefits. Essentially, the cloud service provider that you choose should help you to minimize your carbon footprint, the need for loads of equipment, and provide efficient means to store and secure your company's data. Of course, it also helps that it could essentially save you money in the long run.