A technology expert has observed that while cloud computing can be extremely energy efficient, it can lead to a higher carbon footprint.
Rhonda Ascierto, senior analyst at Ovum, explained that in a theoretical sense, the cloud is low energy. This is because large cloud data centres are "optimised for energy-efficiency and may be powered by renewable energy sources".
Indeed, Ms Ascierto observed that they tend to operate far more sustainably than on-premise operations.
Over the longer term, however, there may be broader issues that cloud computing creates.
Companies that move their IT operations to the cloud no longer have the same capacity limitations that ithey had with its on-premise data centre.
Demand to use the cloud will increase, she explained, because it allows companies to increase their IT operations.
"Even though the cloud can be highly energy efficient, it seems plausible that cloud computing could actually increase IT's total carbon footprint over time," Ms Ascierto remarked.
Posted by Simon Jones