Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies are accelerating digital transformations, including fast-tracking their move to the cloud. Company leaders are recognizing that cloud has quickly become the foundation that’s required to enable rapid scalability and reliability and to fuel new sources of innovation and growth. With access to the cloud comes agility and flexibility, both of which are imperative to meet changing consumer and market demands.
At the same time, companies are facing increasing pressure to solve large socioeconomic challenges and operate as responsible businesses. CIOs are uniquely positioned to guide their companies to make the right technology decisions that will accelerate progress in this shift to more responsible and sustainable practices.
I recently explored how CIOs can take a leading role in creating new business value in the circular economy. We’re now finding that sustainable cloud migration is another way that companies can significantly reduce global carbon (CO2) emissions and meet climate change commitments. A new Accenture analysis shows that, with the appropriate sustainability approach, public cloud migrations can reduce global CO2 emissions by 59 million tons per year, which represents a 5.9% reduction in total IT emissions. This magnitude of reduction equates to taking 22 million cars off the road—you can imagine it will go a long way in meeting climate change commitments, especially for data intensive businesses.
With examples like clean energy transitions enabled by cloud-based geographic analyses and material waste reductions from better data insights, cloud migrations will continue to unlock new opportunities for companies to achieve sustainability benefits. Moreover, in addition to the significant environmental impact, the benefits of greater workload flexibility, better server utilization rates, and more energy-efficient infrastructure makes moving to the cloud more cost efficient than maintaining enterprise-owned data centers. Our analysis shows that companies are realizing up to 30-40% total cost of ownership savings from public cloud, looking holistically at server compute, network and IT labor costs.