The impact of Cloud Computing and organizational sustainability
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When economic times get tough, businesses worldwide are compelled to review their organizational expenses and priorities and to strategically consider how best to save. Traditionally, Information Technology (IT) department is one area that would be affected negatively in the review. To better serve the organization and clients and for business to continue to increase productivity, it is important to understand which technology investments might allow for cost reduction and efficient use of resources. Continuing to fund these strategic technologies during an economic downturn is vital to organizations. It is predicted that in coming years IT resources will only be available online. More and more organizations are looking at operating smarter businesses by investigating technologies such as cloud computing, virtualization and green IT to find ways to cut costs and increase efficiencies. 'Cloud computing' is one recent phenomenon which is predominantly driven by industry recognition of the triple bottom line making sustainability their focus. This is also driven by industry needs that may have the ability to transform the workplace, with a focus on capital expenditure, infrastructure, applications, usage, mobility, and cost structure.The attraction of cloud computing is obvious with noticeable freedom from managing and hosting applications, platforms, and infrastructure. Though advantages of cloud computing are countless, cloud computing is still in its infancy and has disadvantages such as security, privacy, reliability, physical location of data and the unavailability of service due to crashes or bugs in providers' storages; the consequences of which are merely unknown. These disadvantages might be tackled through the proper introduction, training and implementation of codes of ethics as guiding principle to those involved in the usage of cloud computing in business. This paper provides a brief literature review of cloud computing, followed by an analysis of the cloud-computing environment using the PESTEL framework. The future implications and limitations of adopting cloud computing as an effective ecofriendly strategy to reduce carbon footprint are also discussed in the paper. This paper concludes with a recommendation to guide researchers to further examine this phenomenon.
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