Is the cloud a lever in the service of the ecological transition?

It seems to be the cornerstone of a carbon-free world: the collective. When it comes to creating a more sustainable future, public and private organizations don’t think about innovation in a vacuum. “The ecological transition is built into the ecosystem,” summarizes Antoine Le Fevre, CEO of Suez Circular Solutions, a water and waste subsidiary that develops customized solutions.

Thus, in this way of joint construction, the expressions “data exchange”, “pooling of experience” or even “networking” are most often used. These strategies, which must be anchored in the daily lives of public and private organizations and their stakeholders (internal and external), find a powerful launching pad in digital tools, in particular in the cloud.

Comprehensive technological innovation

“To be green, you have to be more efficient along the entire value chain, from sharing with different partners to production: at all stages where new technologies are needed to work better, more sustainably, more locally, etc. — says Guillaume Gibaud, founder of Le Slip Français. The leader, who has made his company of 120 employees and a turnover of 25 million euros a company with a mission, clarifies that “digital technologies provide flexibility and the ability to connect several players horizontally.” He knows this better because he is the founder of the Façon de Faire, an association of around 1,500 members of the textile industry committed to the promotion of “Made in France”.

According to Kristen Girard, responsible digital instructor at the Paris School of Digital Technologies, the cloud is a lever to “make information available to all who need it, which is not available to international organizations.” And this member of the Green IT team mentioned “the possibility of remote collaboration, which limits physical travel.”

In addition to data storage and interaction, this move towards sustainable transformation requires total technological innovation. “Artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain are at the service of the green transition,” notes Antoine Le Fevre, also referring to the use of low-code (software development that requires little programming) with the help of tools. for example, at OutSystems, “with the goal of faster development of SaaS applications, mostly hosted in the cloud.”

Pooling, energy saving vector

Another parameter that makes the “cloud” a vector for reducing the presence of organizations: pooling. “Unlike most companies, large hosts have the funds, finances and management to optimize these infrastructures,” said Bruno Buffenoir, France manager at Nutanix, whose Enterprise Cloud Index deciphers cloud usage worldwide. For his part, Arnaud Lemaire, CTO of F5, an expert in multi-cloud security, speaks of data centers that “use 100% renewable energy, while the generated heat is converted into electricity.”

However, experts agree to advocate controlled use of the cloud. “This is not a destination, but an operating model that leads to an immeasurable amount of duplicated data, so its use should be evaluated,” emphasizes Bruno Buffenoire. At the same time, Arnaud Lemaire recalls that “with the migration to the cloud, the influence of the company does not disappear, it passes to others.”

And F5’s CTO adds that “by calling for tenders, customers can push suppliers to be more environmentally friendly.” Moreover, there are special certificates and ethical charters for data processing centers. “If hosts don’t make a lot of information about their operation public, customers can refer to tools like the Data Center Energy Efficiency Code of Conduct,” concludes Kristen Girard.