According to a new study from the Carbon Disclosure Project large U.S. companies with annual revenue of more than $1 billion can save a combined $12.3 billion on energy costs by 2020 by using cloud computing.

While the financial benefits are encouraging, the report noted that 85.7 million metric tons of carbon emissions will be prevented as a result of the cloud.

By 2020, spending on cloud technology is expected to increase from 10 percent to 69 percent of the companies' IT budgets. Additional benefits identified by the survey include the deployment of new data centers and cost savings for up-front capital investments.

"The primary driver is time to market," said Paul Stemmler, managing director of Data Center Operations at Citigroup - one of the companies involved in the survey. "Developers used to take 45 days to get new servers, but in the internal cloud infrastructure that we operate in our own private network, it takes just a couple of minutes."

More companies are expected to use the cloud moving forward. According to IDC, spending on public cloud services is projected to reach $73 billion by 2015, which is more than triple the $21.5 billion spent in 2010.



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