Why SaaS is a green solution

Companies concerned about being “green” should seriously consider outsourcing their applications to a reliable hosting provider that is also committed to an eco-friendly business model.

Hosting companies like Mission Critical Information Services who are committed to an eco-friendly business model use the latest low-voltage processors and high-efficiency subsystems to provide the most computing capacity at reasonable costs to a base of customers. The shared service allows for the elimination of hardware, power and cooling requirements at each customer site resulting in a “greener” business model for each customer.

Traditional models for Information Technology are designed around dedicated servers for specific applications with each business owning the hardware, software, and infrastructure necessary to provide the application service to the business. In recent years, there has been an growing interest in SaaS, Software as a Service where businesses have outsourced the application to a hosted application provider.

A hosted solution typically provides a shared service with ratios of 1:2 to 1:200 for an application depending on the complexity of the application and customer requirements.

A prime example of the greener business model is email hosting. Email has become a mission critical application to the enterprise that requires specialized expertise to provide world class effectiveness.

Consider an average small business with 50-100 employees. At this size, a company may be able to afford a dedicated IT resource. However, his skill set must span many areas of expertise to support the daily business requirements. It typically includes PC and/or MAC support, network support, firewall configuration, phone system support, Microsoft Office support, email support and his daily tasks are focused on keeping a small group of users productive. Because of the broad nature of support requirements, he doesn’t have time to focus on the detailed intricacies of email support and configuration necessary to maintain systems at optimum performance.

Companies with less than 50 employees typically purchase this service on a contract basis from a local IT company. In this case, a support technician usually drives to the customer site one to three times per week adding a carbon load to the environment. Any opportunities to outsource functionality to remote services, including a hosted email solution, reduce trips to the office and the impact to the environment.

In looking at the bigger picture, 100 Companies with 50 employees each would require 100 servers with an average utilization of 10-20%. A hosted solution may be able to host all 100 companies on 2 servers with a dedicated SAN and centralized backup with a reduction in power requirements of approximately 95%.

Replacing a local email solution implementation such as Microsoft Exchange with an open source product in a hosted environment (SaaS) not only saves the company money, but delivers a higher quality solution and represents a “green” approach to business.