The notion that cloud computing is the most energy-efficient approach to IT infrastructure isn’t exactly a revelation. But new data quantifies just how much greener the cloud could be. What’s more, researchers are providing a new benchmarking model to help companies calculate the cloud’s potential impact on their own organization.

Here’s the headline-worthy finding of the six-month study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Northwestern University: Moving common software, such as customer relationship management (CRM), email and productivity software such as word processors off local systems and into the cloud for 86 million U.S. workers could save about 23 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh).
Put another way, that’s enough electricity to power Los Angeles for an entire year. Most of the savings come from the email and the productivity software migrations. Read more.