With sustainability concerns becoming increasingly important to consumers, the market researcher suspects carbon emissions will be a top-three criterion in the next three years.
If so, this puts the hyperscaling cloud services giants under even more pressure to ensure their data centres are running in an environmentally conscious manner.
Since the start of the pandemic, Gartner data shows that more than 90% of organisations have stepped up spending on tackling emissions.
The company believes that cloud sustainability initiatives will start with the leading cloud providers, who, as some of the world’s largest data centre operators, represent the IT industry’s largest contributors to carbon emissions.
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 pointed out that the ten largest cloud providers by revenue account for 70% of all IT spending on cloud infrastructure, platforms, and services.
As such, whilst almost all cloud providers have sustainability initiatives in place, their strategies for and progress towards achieving net zero emissions varies immensely.
“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,” Anderson added.
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