Green IT, a social responsibility, driving the adoption of SaaS

Recently a lot is written about the adoption of Software as a Service or Cloud computing. Some claim it will require a complete new mindset, possibly even a new generation. Others claim it driven by the economic set back we are currently facing. This is most likely all very true, but I would like to add an additional observation.

During the current economic slowdown companies become more cost prudent and delay investments. However investments in sustainability are the last to be cut. Even consumers still place value in sustainability and Gartner research shows that despite the economic slowdown Green IT remains one of the priorities of Australian companies. I predict that our social responsibility willing to invest in Green IT will also drive the adoption of  SaaS and Cloud Computing.

Today's 'on premise' computing is comparable with the decentralized production of electricity early last century. Large scale electricity production using large efficient units in a central grid provided reliable, low cost electricity to everyone. Back from my mechanical engineering days I also know that large scale production of electricity is a lot more efficient than small scale production. However small scale production provides more flexibility. Now 100 years later computing goes through the same cycle. Large scale computing in centralized data centers is a lot more efficient than decentralize 'on premise' computing. The reasons are simple, also here does scale drive down costs, but more importantly the owners of the data centers are dealing with high energy bills and have thus a clear incentive to drive those costs down. Microsoft Goes Green, Experiments With Low-Power Data Centers.

Companies today already have plenty of opportunities to invest in Green IT including several ways of saving costs on the way. I recommend to carefully evaluate what Software as a Service solutions can offer or at least evaluate the road maps towards SaaS solutions.

Image credit: r ♥ c e y t ♥ y 

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