Carbon emissions will drive cloud purchase decisions within 3 years

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Carbon emissions will drive cloud purchase decisions within 3 years

Carbon emissions of hyperscale cloud emissions will be a top three criterion in cloud purchase decisions by 2025, according to a new Gartner report.

The report, Predicts 2022: The Cloud Moves From Technology Disruption to Business Disruption predict sustainability investments will increase as environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting receives growing level of enterprise attention.

As this attention grows, more than 90 percent of organisations increased their investments in sustainability programs since the start of the pandemic compared to investments in 2017.

Ed Anderson, distinguished research vice president at Gartner said leading providers of cloud infrastructure and platform services are increasingly focusing on how they can disrupt higher-level business, compliance, societal and environmental issues.

“Hyperscalers are aggressively investing in sustainable cloud operations and delivery, aspiring to eventually achieve net zero emissions within the decade, or sooner. Gartner expects increased availability of tools that help organisations calculate and reduce their carbon emissions through effective use of cloud services, similar to tools that assist in optimising cloud spending today,” Anderson said.

The top 10 largest cloud providers (by revenue) accounted for 70 percent of all IT spending on cloud infrastructure, platform and application services, according to Gartner.

Cloud sustainability initiatives will start with the leading cloud providers, which are some of the world’s largest data centre operators and critical to reducing IT-related carbon emissions.

Wild variations

While essentially all cloud providers have sustainability initiatives in place, their progress in meeting carbon reduction goals and strategies for achieving net zero carbon emissions varies wildly, according to Anderson.

“Sustainability metrics and workload placement tools are still immature and not always transparent, making it difficult for organisations to fully and accurately assess true sustainability impacts of their cloud usage today.

“As stakeholders continue to push organisations to improve their sustainability posture, the more progressive providers will share their sustainability information publicly. Increasingly, stakeholder pressure will prompt them to include it in company disclosures, compliance and reporting,” he said.

Gartner’s 2022 Board of Directors survey showed ESG issues were among the top strategic priorities for 32 percent of boards, representing a 100 percent increase in interest over the 2021 survey.

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