3 Ways Cloud Computing Can Improve Your Company’s Energy Efficiency

Traditionally slow to adopt technology, the construction industry is finally embracing the cloud. The number of construction firms expressing an openness to investing in cloud software climbed from 78 percent in 2015 to 87 percent in 2017, indicating a 5 percent higher interest than other industries, Software Connect data shows. 

Moreover, the number of general contractors who are already pursuing cloud implementation or plan to do so rose from 16 percent in 2012 to 85 percent in 2017.

Why are construction professionals turning to the cloud? It’s simple. Cloud technology represents multiple benefits for the construction industry, including the use of mobile technology to accommodate changing job sites as well as energy-efficient solutions for construction firms.

Here are three ways cloud computing can help your construction company achieve greater energy efficiency.

1. Lowering Energy Costs

One motivation for moving to the cloud is the reduction in energy costs compared to using traditional on-site computer equipment. 

In a traditional on-site data center, power consumption accounts for 70 percent of total operating costs, with 20 percent of electricity being used to keep hardware from overheating, another 17 percent used for ventilation and 19 percent used for actual computing.

Of course, costs can run higher depending on where you’re located. For instance, industrial electricity rates in California are nearly three times as high as they are in Texas. An advantage of cloud computing is that your servers can be located remotely in a part of the country where electricity costs are significantly lower. 

Additionally, through cloud computing, you’re pooling your energy usage with those of your provider’s other clients. This has the net effect of cutting your energy costs. It also enables you to run your IT operations from mobile devices without requiring you to set up a significant on-site power infrastructure.

2. Shrinking Software Carbon Footprints
Cloud computing can also reduce your energy consumption by providing remote hosting of your apps, shrinking the power usage and carbon footprint generated by on-site software. The traditional software lifecycle consumes a significant amount of energy, including energy used to:

– Produce raw materials
– Produce discs and packaging
– Transport software packages
– Use software
– Dispose of used materials

In particular, the electricity needed to produce 10 million discs is equivalent to the output of nearly 8,000 homes. However, the cloud enables you to shift this energy usage away from your site to a remote location.

For instance, hosting a call center in the cloud eliminates the need to install on-premise software. Plus, moving your call center, spreadsheets and email to the cloud can reduce your carbon footprint by nearly 90 percent, according to Microsoft.

3. Reducing Transportation Usage
Cloud computing can also cut the energy consumption of your construction team when transporting various materials. Holding meetings with clients, communicating between on-site and off-site personnel and talking to suppliers are essential parts of any construction project. 

But they can quickly add to your fuel expenses and swell your carbon footprint. Conversely, using the cloud lets you make greater use of mobile communication tools, like smartphones, laptops and tablets, reducing the amount of time you and your team spend shuttling between locations.

Conclusion
Through cloud computing, you can lower your energy use by shifting the electricity consumption of your IT operations and software usage off-site. Investing in this energy-efficient option can also lower the energy you use for travel by empowering you to hold meetings remotely over mobile devices. If you’re looking to lower your company’s energy output and gain other benefits from having access to the latest mobile apps, consider moving your IT operations to the cloud.

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