Some scientific backing for the received wisdom that cloud computing is more energy efficient than traditional models published by Science Daily. It reports on research in Austria that tackles the argument that cloud is not greener but rather it just moves or displaces the energy demands and emissions. They believe that small businesses could save up to 62% of their energy costs by going cloud and carbon emissions would be halved.

Excerpt
“Now, Dietmar Nedbal and Mark Stieninger of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, in Steyr, Austria, have assessed the potential synergistic effects of green IT and cloud computing. They have found that both overall costs and carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by more than half by exploiting an integrated cloud computing solution while retaining the benefits of integrated business processes and services at the cross-organisational level that would normallybe available only to a company with its own hardware and software in place.

The team demonstrated proof of principle with an electronic invoicing system for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based on the cloud service model “software as a service” (SaaS). Businesses that adopt electronic invoicing in such an environment will benefit, the team reports. Moreover, the use of SaaS cloud computing in this context could act as a gateway to handling electronic documents in general, and to related “smart” technologies.”

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At the site you can access the original paper published in the International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management, 2014