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New Study Shows Cloud Computing Can Reduce Carbon Footprint

Photo: Wojciech Gajda

Businesses that run business applications in the cloud versus their own infrastructure can help reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by a net 30 percent or more.

These findings, from a study commissioned by Microsoft Corp. and conducted by Accenture and WSP Environment & Energy, demonstrate cloud computing’s potential to operate business applications more efficiently.

The study focused on three commonly used Microsoft applications for email, content sharing and customer relationship management. While the findings are only for selected Microsoft applications, it is likely similar befits can be found across other applications and cloud service providers.

The study assessed the carbon footprint of server, networking and storage infrastructure for three different deployment sizes (100, 1,000 and 10,000 users), finding the smaller the organization, the larger the benefit of switching to the cloud.

The study determined that while many businesses may be able to address some of the issues in their data centers and decrease energy consumption and carbon emission, due to economies of scale, providers of large, public cloud infrastructure are best positioned to help reduce the environmental impact of IT.

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