Businesses looking at cloud computing to offload nonessential functions like e-mail service to a service provider like AT&T (NYSE: T) could achieve $12.3 billion in energy savings and cut out 85.7 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2020, a new study says.
The study, titled "Cloud Computing: The IT Solution for the 21st Century," commissioned by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in partnership with research firm Verdantix and AT&T, says that a business that adopts cloud computing "can reduce its energy consumption, lower its carbon emissions and decrease its IT capex resources while improving operational efficiency."
Verdantix conducted interviews with major corporations in various industries--including insurance company Aviva, aerospace firm Boeing, financial giant Citigroup and telecom and networking company Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR)--forecasts that business spending on cloud computing will increase from 10 percent to 69 percent of their IT infrastructure costs by 2020.
With cost savings being a driver to adopt cloud, a number of the study participants that have already been using cloud services for two years anticipate they could cut costs by 40 to 50 percent.
While reducing carbon emissions and cutting costs are a benefit that Paul Stemmler--Citigroup managing director, engineering and integration, Citi Global Operations & Technology--recognizes at his firm, he said that cloud services also help his company drive products quicker to market.
"Developers used to take 45 days to get new servers, but in the internal cloud infrastructure that we operate in our own private network, it takes just a couple of minutes," he said.
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