From files to software, just about everything can be found “in the cloud” in today’s corporate world. “The cloud,” formally known as cloud computing, has risen in popularity for a number of reasons, but the sustainability it offers has proven to be particularly impactful, as shown by recent research by Dr. Jiyong Park, assistant professor at the Bryan School.
Published in Management Science (one of the elite business journals in the world), Park’s co-authored paper, “Green Cloud? An Empirical Analysis of Cloud Computing and Energy Efficiency,” explores how cloud computing can make companies more energy efficient if used correctly.
Using in-house IT servers for data storage and processing requires more energy than cloud computing, said Park, which essentially allows users to “borrow” computing resources and software as services on demand, offered over the Internet.
Depending on the types of services, cloud service models can be classified into two broad categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Examples include Amazon Web Service or Microsoft Office 365, respectively. He revealed how different cloud service models can enhance a corporate user’s energy efficiency.
Park, who has been an assistant professor of information systems at the Bryan School since 2019, assessed the total energy savings from the use of cloud computing compared to the total energy consumption of data centers. His main takeaway? Cloud computing has the potential to be a greener option for businesses, and works best with the Triple Bottom Line management model: people, planet and profit.
“I want to share my findings with students to show them the value of data analytics and how they can be used to solve important business and social problems,” Park said. “There’s no doubt that environmental sustainability and climate change are one of the most urgent issues for society but also for business.”