How cloud migration enables sustainable IT and your green agenda

How cloud migration enables sustainable IT and your green agenda

Posted by HTG

Did you know that 80 percent of companies across the globe now create and report on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

Yes, in today's world, the green agenda is at the top of many business's priority lists. And championing sustainable IT is a big part of that picture.

With IT potentially accounting for up to four percent of global greenhouse emissions, it's time to rethink your business's on-premise infrastructure and invest in eco-friendly alternatives.

Fortunately, we've got the key to doing just that. And it's sitting in the cloud.

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5 environmental benefits of a cloud migration

The continued adoption of cloud computing could prevent the production of up to one billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from 2021 to 2024, according to a recent IDC report.

You may be wondering how. After all, cloud computing still requires physical hardware and data centres to function.

Well, let's explore the biggest factors:

1. Renewable energy

How do you currently power your on-premise hardware? We suspect you aren't using the best energy sources around. The good news is, many cloud providers maintain a strong commitment to reducing their carbon emissions and adopting cleaner energy sources.

Microsoft Azure, for instance, plans to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2025 for all their data centres, buildings and campuses. On top of that, they're aiming to replenish more water than they consume by 2030.

2. Dematerialisation

Are you still reliant upon paper-based processes? You may be printing paper aplenty without thinking of the consequences paper production has on the environment.

With the help of cloud-based tools - such as those found in the Microsoft 365 suite - you can cut out the need for physical documentation, thus reducing your environmental impact.

3. Shared data centres

Imagine every business in the world. (There are far too many to count, we're sure.) Now imagine if every one of those businesses powered and maintained on-premise servers. Think of the amount of hardware needed.

By using a shared cloud data centre facility, you minimise the amount of hardware (and energy) required. Think of it as ten employees taking a large bus with a big engine to work, rather than ten separate cars.

4. Remote working

The number of businesses championing remote working initiatives has skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well as enhancing productivity and employee wellbeing, home working can also reduce CO2 emissions produced by commuting. Cloud computing enables this secure, disparate working in a way that on-premise solutions can't.

5. On-site energy efficiency

Many cloud data centres use hot and cold aisles, as well as specialised HVAC cooling units, to optimise their energy usage.

These five points are just a brief overview of how migrating to the cloud can help your IT sustainability goals from the get-go. But this is only the start.

There's more you can do internally to aid your green agenda.

Taking it a step further: optimising your IT usage

Once you're in the cloud, the effort doesn't stop there.

There are small everyday tasks you can undertake to ensure you minimise your climate impact even further, both inside your office and in your cloud environment.

For instance, you can:

  • Switch off your devices, on-premise servers and data centres. If a certain application is only in use during the day or, in some cases, once a week or less, shut it down to preserve energy. On top of this, train your staff around device energy consumption best practices.
  • Purchase sustainable devices. Make sure you use hardware that's been manufactured in an environmentally friendly way.
  • Recycle your hardware. Don't just throw your old laptops in with the general waste. Choose recycling companies that give your products a new lease of life.

If you're struggling to map out and stick to a sustainable IT roadmap, it may be worth enlisting the help of a partner who can point you in the right direction.

The wider benefits of going green

The biggest benefit of green IT is, of course, the positive impact it'll have on the climate. There's no better reward than knowing you're helping the planet.

Still, the benefits do go beyond this. And these benefits may be indispensable when convincing your c-suite to migrate to the cloud.

With that in mind, here are some key ways investing in sustainable IT can help your business:

  • Reduced energy costs. By migrating your workloads to the cloud, you'll cut the amount of energy you previously spent on powering servers and cooling them. This, in turn, will reduce your energy costs.
  • Tax incentives. Believe it or not, you may also be eligible for environmental tax relief if you purchase energy-efficient technology.
  • More space. Physical hardware can take up a lot of office space. Consider the benefits of freeing up all that room. (A new meeting area perhaps?)
  • Better reputation. Businesses that prioritise sustainability goals are more appealing to both their customers and their employees.

All in all, championing sustainable IT isn't only beneficial for the environment. It can go a long way to improving your business, too.

Combat climate change with the cloud

'Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved. It deserves to be a huge priority.' - Bill Gates

It's a chilling observation, but one that needs repeating: the planet won't save itself.

When it comes to reducing CO2 emissions, limiting water usage, and stalling rising temperatures, all businesses have a part to play.

Migrating to the cloud is one way you can enable sustainable IT. And, in turn, do your bit for the planet.

That said, we know sustainable IT can be a minefield to navigate. So, if you require some friendly guidance, get in touch with us. We'd love to help you out.

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