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Cloud helps boost energy-efficient projects

While cloud computing is often associated with its ability to improve data and application management in the private sector, this is not the technology's only capability. In fact, cloud solutions in the coming years will help consumers and businesses alike improve their business energy management systems (BEMS) so facilities and homes can be more energy efficient.

Global Information Inc. (GII) recent published a report saying the cloud will become an inexpensive alternative to previously costly software used in the commercial and industrial sectors to monitor the consumption of energy. The hosted services will also make it easier for decision-makers to compare performance levels of multiple disparate branches.

GII noted that the global BEMS market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 8.9 percent from 2012 to 2020, largely driven by the emergence of the cloud and the adoption of next-generation services in the Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe sectors. North America industries will also contribute to the growing BEMS market, but will see signs of slowing in the latter half of the forecast period.

The energy-efficient cloud characteristics
Because IT is such an integral part of today's business and consumer landscapes, having green solutions is becoming more important than ever before. A separate study by the Carbon Disclosure Project found that U.S. companies using cloud servers can experience more than $12 billion in energy savings by 2020. This is equivalent to the production of 200 million barrels of oil worth of carbon emissions.

"A large percentage of global GDP is reliant on IT - this is a critical issue as we strive to decouple economic growth from emissions growth," said Paul Dickinson, executive chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project. "The carbon emissions reducing potential of cloud computing is a thrilling breakthrough, allowing companies to maximize performance, drive down costs, reduce inefficiency and minimize energy use - and therefore carbon emissions - all at the same time."

In the coming years, cloud computing will continue to gain traction in and outside the private sector not only because of its ability to enhance operations and improve IT management, but also because of its ability to support long-term energy efficiency projects. This is especially important as the macroeconomic crisis continues to put an increasing amount of pressure on IT executives.

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