By Ian Moyse, EMEA Channel Director for Webroot

Today’s challenging economic times can make it difficult for businesses to do the right thing. Choosing to be “green” when faced with financial constraints presents a dilemma–and for many businesses, the only viable solution is finding eco-friendly practices that can also save money.

Companies can reduce their carbon imprint in a number of
ways, whether it’s by using less electricity or reducing waste. Green technology solutions offer numerous opportunities, but IT professionals face notable challenges when evaluating options. Many technology vendors claim to be green, but it can be difficult to determine which solutions are actually eco-friendly and which are primarily marketing spin. The biggest obstacle to implementation, though, is justifying the green initiative to management. Now more than ever, IT teams must demonstrate that the chosen solution will deliver corporate savings and ROI (Return On Investment) in addition to environmental benefits.

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) presents a “win/win” for IT departments, providing cost-savings along with efficiency and sustainability. The SaaS model is founded on the simple cost-sharing approach taken by utility companies. We no longer see businesses running their own localised and owned power plants. Instead, they simply plug into the grid and utilise cheaper and more efficient centralised power resources. SaaS works in much the same way.

Also known as cloud computing, the SaaS model has been rapidly growing in popularity over the last few years. Now a proven and robust technology, SaaS is utilised by companies of all sizes in order to receive expert services in a specified business area, such as email or web security. Business benefits include reduced operational costs, simplified management and improved productivity–and the environmental benefits are just as substantial.

The SaaS model reduces the requirement for businesses to purchase and replace hardware and software, two major contributors to e-waste and toxic garbage. Energy is conserved through the power of multi-tenancy. For example, instead of ten separate businesses running ten separate web filtering boxes, SaaS runs one dedicated web filtering box and remotely connects all the sites to it. This way, each business receives the functional benefits of web filtering, but in a much more efficient, cost-effective manner.

According to some reports, businesses deploying SaaS applications have shown a 20-to-1 savings benefit in energy consumption compared with running the same application on premise. At an average of 450 watts per server, multiplied by tens of thousands of servers, massive amounts of electricity and money are conserved. And the benefits do not end there. Along with lower energy costs, SaaS greatly conserves IT resources by streamlining management of every company computer through one centralised console.

Specialised services are provided in the cloud through a low monthly subscription. The end result is a fully sustainable approach that simplifies future planning and cost predictions. As businesses around the globe search for a way to balance economic needs with environmentally friendly practices, the cloud model is likely to continue its rapid growth. Through SaaS, businesses can implement a sustainable solutionb that leads us all into a greener future.

Watch the video below featuring Matt Holmes, Managing Director at Liquid Accounts discussing what cloud computing is.


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