Microsoft hired Accenture and WSP to study whether migrating services to the cloud actually reduced energy or whether it just shifted the burden. You can find the study here. Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) standards served as the basis for comparing energy loads.
From my own experience, I would agree that largest benefits went to smaller firms. We don’t have systems of scale. Moving an operation to the cloud where scale can be reached makes a lot of sense.
A post in HBR picked out some of the better bits from the report. Here is what found interesting from the post:
“Energy savings come from a few key leverage points: Reducing excess capacity, Flattening peak loads, Employing large-scale virtualization software, andImproving data center design.”
Sounds very familiar from our class discussion.
The author, Andrew Winston offered these key points:
- The centralization of computing power should look familiar.
- In this case, outsourcing is another word for “servicizing,”
- Small companies get the biggest bang for their cloud bucks.
- Smart outsourcing, scale, and technology can help other parts of the business be more efficient also.
- But, keep one thing in mind when outsourcing an energy-using function: the footprint is still yours. .