Fish eye perspective on grass and industrial area

Industry cloud: the green superhero?

What happens when enterprises rely on industry cloud platforms? Does this automatically make them “greener”?

January 22 2024Fabian Placht

A green formula for enterprises

One thing is clear: companies cannot meet ambitious future climate targets using yesterday's technologies. Therefore, it’s high time to rethink digitalization. Can an industry cloud help drive sustainable digital transformation? This is precisely the question I would like to explore today. To simplify this complex topic, I have a clear equation in mind – let's see if the result is right: industry + industry cloud = green.

Putting my formula to the test

I follow the premise behind the motto: two times three makes four. Anyone familiar with Pippi Longstocking will remember this was one of her favorite sayings. After all, it’s tempting to want the world to follow our own rules. Pippi's arithmetic – we know this without insulting her – is incorrect. But what about my equation? At first, you can basically claim anything. Combining “industry” and “cloud” on paper and defining a result in advance is easy. What makes it exciting is checking the plausibility of that result and whether changes in the sum can influence it. First, let’s break down the industry and cloud separately.

Industry in focus

Graphic: Industry in focus

What influences my equation, and what defines its value? The higher an "industry" parameter value, the more critical it is for its respective sector. The pressure on companies and industries to act sustainably and protect the environment has different origins and reasons. In turn, these origins and reasons shape different values. Some factors that influence enterprises include: 

  • Increasing social awareness
  • Environmental awareness among consumers
  • New environmental regulations, laws, and sanctions
  • Cost savings through improved energy efficiency or waste reduction
  • Growing interest from investors and shareholders
  • Brand protection and increasing brand value

Green clouds on the horizon

Let's now turn to the second part of my equation: the industry cloud. We can look at the sustainable added value cloud technology broadly offers to understand how it could be green. Cloud computing provides various ways to reduce the environmental impact of IT infrastructures, as it reduces the need for physical servers and hardware on-site. This results in lower consumption of energy, cooling, and space savings. 

Thanks to the cloud, companies can scale their IT resources in line with demand and use them more efficiently, which minimizes consumption and the associated costs. Green managed services providers can also host enterprise data and digital applications in environmentally friendly data centers that rely on renewable energy sources.

By helping to reduce enterprises’ ecological footprints and promoting environmentally friendly business practices, the cloud can widely contribute to sustainability. Combined with industry clouds, developing industry-specific solutions enables more sustainable operations in various sectors of the economy.

What is an industry cloud? 

An industry cloud differs from “normal” cloud services in various aspects.  To be classified as such, it must fulfill specific criteria. Its characteristic features are, among others:

  • Industry-specific orientation: an industry cloud is tailored to the needs and use cases of a specific sector, such as healthcare, manufacturing, or financial services 
  • Vertical integration: from production to compliance, it integrates various aspects of a business, enabling comprehensive oversight and control
  • Data analysis: it provides real-time insights to improve decision-making
  • Security and compliance: it includes enhanced security and compliance mechanisms to ensure the protection of sensitive data in specific industries
  • Scalability: it is scalable and flexible to meet changing industry requirements
  • IoT integration: it collects and processes data from IoT devices, which are crucial for monitoring systems and processes
  • Industry-specific applications: it has an extensive partner network behind  specialized applications for industry-specific requirements

Industry + industry cloud = green?

Organizations are under pressure to develop sustainable business processes quickly. My formula may represent a simplified link between cloud platforms and environmental friendliness. The actual influencing factors are complex, vary from sector to sector, and require consideration of further aspects. 

Using industry cloud solutions alone does not guarantee greater sustainability, but they can act as a tool to promote and accelerate sustainable operations. For example, they can support energy savings and resource efficiencies. The result depends on various factors, such as the respective sector’s overall sustainability efforts and the industry cloud’s effectiveness.

Nevertheless, my initial formula is more logical than Pippi's playful worldview. With the industry cloud guiding companies’ integration of sustainable practices through special cloud solutions, we can establish more environmentally friendly business processes in the long run. This enables us to shape the world a little more the way we like it: more social, more sustainable, and green. Contact us if you’d like to explore industry cloud solutions for your enterprise.

About the author
Fabian Placht, Sales Expert

Fabian Placht

Squad Lead Innovation & Digitalization at Cloud Expert Sales, T-Systems International GmbH

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