Top 4 Green IT and Cloud Computing Predictions for 2022

From federal pollution laws to advocacy groups and beyond, “going green” is nothing new. What has changed, however, is the shift in numbers of companies joining the sustainability movement.

Corporate sustainability efforts have increased dramatically over the past two decades, with 80% of companies worldwide now reporting on their sustainability efforts.

There are many ways an organization can become more eco-friendly, such as reducing waste and energy. A company’s IT department typically consumes the majority of energy and power. In 2020, the overall IT sector accounted for 5 to 15% of global electricity consumption, making it a key area of focus for green initiatives.

Responsible businesses understand the role they play in going green. When it comes to information technology, these efforts often center around reducing hardware and server costs. IT-related energy demand is expected to nearly double by 2030, requiring continued efforts to offset this rate of consumption.

The shift to cloud computing has helped optimize power usage effectiveness (PUE). Since 2020, cloud computing has exploded in response to the growing number of virtual work environments and the delivery of digital services.

This rapid adoption and growth will continue in 2022, especially for enterprise-wide cloud migration strategies. With that in mind, here are the top four predictions related to green IT and cloud computing for 2022.

1. Cloud Ubiquity Will Drive Global Cloud Adoption

Forecasts from the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicate that continued cloud adoption could eliminate a billion metric tons of CO2 emission from 2021–2024.

Gartner forecasts a rapid global expansion of cloud adoption, with end-user spending on cloud services projected to grow 21.7% in 2022. In addition, Gartner predicts that cloud spending will exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending by 2026.

Companies have traditionally had two options for cloud migrations: easily accessible public clouds or customizable private cloud solutions. Today, hybrid cloud environments are expanding the possibilities for cloud infrastructure models, such as combining private cloud with public cloud or public cloud with an on-premises datacenter.

For example, data available to customers can be stored on a public cloud server while sensitive data is kept secure on private servers. Many organizations favor a hybrid cloud approach thanks to its flexibility, security, and cost-effectiveness.

According to the annual State of the Cloud Report, 69% of businesses use a hybrid cloud solution, and more than 90% of enterprises worldwide will rely on hybrid cloud by 2022. These multi-cloud deployments are in high demand, with an industry survey finding that 97% of IT leaders plan to distribute workloads across two or more clouds.

2. Industry Clouds and Edge Computing Can Modernize Business Environments

Some industries have been resistant to cloud computing. In the financial services sector, for example, 70% of companies are still in the early stages of cloud adoption. Like finance, the healthcare industry is highly regulated and requires high levels of security to demonstrate compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.

For heavily regulated industries, industry clouds offer optimized servers, tools, and applications specific to industry needs. Industry-specific cloud solutions can help organizations accelerate their digital business transformation plans while meeting legal, regulatory, and operational requirements.

According to Forrester, companies will look for cloud service providers not based on the number of available services, but by which solution meets compliance parameters in their specific vertical.

Another cloud trend on the rise is edge computing, which builds localized datacenters at or near where they are needed. This brings data storage and computation closer to its source, rather than relying on a central server that might be thousands of miles away.

Edge computing increases overall bandwidth by storing data locally and only connecting to the cloud as necessary. It also gives companies the ability to process and store data faster because algorithms run locally on an edge server, eliminating latency issues inherent with connecting to a cloud-based service.

3. Virtualization Will Reduce IT’s Energy Footprint

From desktops, data, applications, servers, and more, virtualization allows for more efficient utilization of physical computer hardware.

In a virtualized environment, companies can run desktops, applications, and software in a virtual infrastructure rather than on physical hardware. This reduces the costs associated with datacenter operations, such as cooling, energy consumption, and storage space.

By sharing a single physical instance of a resource or application with multiple end-point users, virtualization maximizes the number of available system resources in an eco-friendly way.

Consolidating multiple servers as virtual machines (VMs) allows IT departments to use available hardware more efficiently and reduce the number of physical servers within a datacenter. It’s estimated that companies can improve server usage by approximately 40% when they deploy virtualization technologies on their digital assets.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, buildings that contain datacenters spend 25 to 35% more on electricity per square foot than those without.

The Center of Expertise for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers recommends virtualizing datacenters to offset this energy consumption and reduce the costs associated with physical servers.

4. Remote Work Will Be a Standard Part of Daily Life

Remote work statistics suggest that 25–30% of the US workforce will work remotely through the end of 2021 and into 2022. Employees prefer remote work for many reasons, including money saved by not having to commute or spending money on items like coffee, lunch, and dry-cleaning expenses.

By shifting to full-time remote work, employees avoided an average of 75 hours per year in commute time. This not only increases productivity; it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by commuting to the workplace.

The benefits of remote work aren’t just for employees—companies can save an estimated $1,400,000 per 100 employees per year by switching to remote work long term. For every part-time remote worker, organizations experience 21% higher profitability.

A remote workforce also allows businesses to reevaluate their office space requirements. Reducing or eliminating space requirements saves on overhead expenses while reducing overall energy consumption.

According to Gartner, 51% of all knowledge workers will work remotely by the end of 2021 and 31% of all workers worldwide will be remote in 2022.

Remote access often relies on virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to connect employees to desktops, applications, and services typically only accessible within the office. These virtual workspaces allow users to connect digitally to both resources and coworkers, regardless of their location or device used.

How Parallels RAS Supports Your Organization’s Green IT Initiatives

Green IT is all about finding ways to use energy to perform operations in the most efficient way possible. Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a VDI solution that streamlines the deployment and maintenance of applications and desktops to remote and hybrid workers.

Parallels RAS helps organizations make progress on their green IT initiatives. One way it does this is through flexible cloud deployment models, For example, a single Parallels RAS site can support 2,000 virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) and 5,000 Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) sessions.

By running fewer physical servers in favor of VDIs, organizations get a higher amount of consolidation while using less energy.

Parallels RAS enables employees to work from anywhere on their preferred device, enhancing their productivity while also reducing the risk of data loss and malicious activity. This enables organizations to save money on in-office space and the cost of new hardware, as employees can use their own devices from home, rather than requiring employers to invest in costly new ones.

Parallels RAS also helps extend the life of legacy software applications and older hardware devices. Rather than having to invest in costly new SaaS applications, the infrastructure of Parallels RAS enables organizations to continue using these solutions.

For example, the Parallels RAS Device Manager enables IT administrators to convert devices running older versions of Windows into limited devices that are similar to thin clients using the “replace desktop” feature, which can help save costs on new hardware.

If devices do need to be replaced, organizations can invest in more cost-effective thin client devices for employees rather than full-featured laptops or PCs, which can help save thousands of dollars per year in electricity costs.

Ready to see how Parallels RAS can help support your green IT goals? Download a free 30-day trial to get started!