The cloud, a lever in the service of ecological transition?

It seems to be the foundation of a carbon -free world: the collective. When it comes to inventing a more sustainable future, public and private organizations do not consider change in a vacuum. “The ecological transition is built into an ecosystem”, summarizes Antoine Le Feuvre, general manager of Suez Circular Solutions, a subsidiary of water and waste specialist, which develops dedicated solutions.

Thus, in this path of co-construction, the most used expressions are “data sharing”, “integration of expertise” or even “networking”. These strategies, which must be anchored in the daily lives of public and private organizations and their stakeholders (internal and external), can be seen in digital tools, especially in the cloud, a powerful launching pad.

All-round technological innovation

“To be‘ green ’, you need to be better across the value chain, from exchanging with different partners to production: all stages where new technologies are essential to make it better, more sustainable , more local, etc. ”said Guillaume Gibault, founder of Le Slip Français. The leader, who made his company – of 120 employees and 25 million euros in turnover – a company with a mission, points out that “digital technology provides agility and the ability to federate horizontally several players” . He knows this better because he is the originator of the Façon de Faire, an association that brings together nearly 1,500 representatives of the textile industry dedicated to promoting the work in France.

In general, the cloud is a lever for “making information accessible to all who need it, which is not an option for international organizations”, according to Kristen Girard, responsible digital trainer at the Digital School of Paris. And this member of the Green IT collective mentioned the “possibility of remote collaborative work, therefore limiting physical travel”.

In addition to data storage and interactions, this movement of sustainable transformation requires a complete overhaul of technology. “Artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain are being put at the service of ecological transition”, pointed out Antoine Le Feuvre, who also mentioned the use of low-code (software development that requires little programming) , through tools such as OutSystems, “with the goal of designing SaaS mode applications faster, primarily hosted in the cloud.”

Pooling, energy conservation vector

Another parameter that makes the “cloud” vector for reducing the footprint of organizations: pooling. “Unlike most companies, large hosts have the means, financial and managerial, to optimize these infrastructures,” pointed out Bruno Buffenoir, manager, in France, of Nutanix, whose Enterprise Cloud Index deciphers cloud usage everywhere in the world. For his part, Arnaud Lemaire, technical director of F5, an expert in multicloud security, speaks about data centers that “use 100% renewable energy, while converting the heat emitted into electricity”.

However, experts agree to promote a controlled use of the cloud. “This is not a destination but an operational model that leads to an immeasurable amount of duplicate data, so its use should be evaluated”, underlined Bruno Buffenoir. As Arnaud Lemaire recalls that “in moving to the cloud, the company’s impact doesn’t disappear, it goes to others”.

And F5’s technical director added that “through their calls for tenders, customers can push suppliers to be more ecological”. Especially since there are specific certifications and ethical charters for data centers. “If hosts don’t publicize a lot of information on their operation, customers can refer to tools such as the code of conduct for the energy efficiency of data centers”, concludes Kristen Girard.

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