Silver Lining for the Cloud

A study published this week by the Carbon Disclosure Project predicts that the ‘Cloud’ can halve the carbon emissions generated by computing before 2020 but web entrepreneur Duane Jackson says the true savings can be far higher.

The study by the London based Carbon Disclosure Project concentrated on big IT concerns based in Britain and France and calculated that they would save carbon emissions by moving their data storage to web based ‘cloud’ systems.

“This study focuses on single large companies but I would prefer to calculate savings in terms of thousands of concerns moving their data storage and computer crunching into the cloud,” said Mr Jackson, creator and MD of KashFlow which is Britain’s best-selling cloud-based accountancy package.

“Web-based computing necessarily involves multiple servers which use considerable amounts of power but if, let us say, 10,000 companies used the same servers the savings are mega – about 8,000 KW per company per year,” he said.

According the National Energy Association 8,000 KW hours of electricity equates to 34,400 miles of bus travel in carbon production.

Mr Jackson also pointed out that companies using cloud-based servers only needed to run older or smaller machines in their own offices. This obviously results in using less power and purchasing fewer computers.

“There is obviously a strong green argument to be made in favour of moving towards the web-based model of delivering software because of power usage but we also need to factor in carbon savings in terms of: less oil based CDs to produce; no computer manuals to print and ship; and an increase in tele-commuting and thus less travelling,” said Mr Jackson.

KashFlow will be sponsoring a breakfast meeting entitled ‘AHEAD IN THE CLOUDS’. The meeting takes place in the offices of Telemetry on the 39th floor of Tower 42, in the heart of the City of London at 7.45am on 16th November and will discuss whether ‘cloud computing’ is a boon or bust for business.

With 1,100 businesses collapsing every day, and the banks still not altogether lending, the Cloud seems like a lottery win for Start-Up businesses.

Economies of scale allow Start-Ups to operate on a level playing field with multinationals. Start-Up costs are virtually nothing but there are worries over security. During Global Entrepreneurship Week, ‘Ahead in the Clouds’ will discuss whether the Cloud is all it’s been talked up to be.

Speakers at the breakfast will include James Caan (CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw), Anne Boden (Former Head of EMEA, Global Transaction Services, at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group) and Eric Van der Kleij (CEO of the UK’s Tech City Investment Organisation).


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