Executive Briefings

How Much Energy Does Retail Consume to Power E-commerce and Business Intelligence?

How much electricity is all of retail's e-commerce, big-data analytics and mobile shopping devouring? No one has calculated that, but a report out this month argues that all IT now consumes about 10 percent of the world's electricity.

How Much Energy Does Retail Consume to Power E-commerce and Business Intelligence?

Admittedly, "The Cloud Begins with Coal" report was sponsored by coal trade groups, and its calculation includes the electricity used to manufacture everything from mainframes to phones to chips, so that 10 percent number may be a stretch. But even adjusting for that, IT is swallowing a lot of juice"”and retail may be a big part of the increase.

That's because retail has ramped up IT use (and spending) dramatically over the past decade or so. Most industries have scaled up their existing IT use, but e-commerce and large-scale analytics represent completely new IT costs. One result is that costs haven't been well contained, because without historical numbers for comparison, no one had any idea how much spending was reasonable or how much they could or should be cut. But increasingly it's looking like the answer is simple: Whatever it is, it's too high.

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Keywords: retail supply chain, energy consumption in retail, Big Data, analytics & business intelligence, supply chain solutions, data servers, supply chain management IT

Admittedly, "The Cloud Begins with Coal" report was sponsored by coal trade groups, and its calculation includes the electricity used to manufacture everything from mainframes to phones to chips, so that 10 percent number may be a stretch. But even adjusting for that, IT is swallowing a lot of juice"”and retail may be a big part of the increase.

That's because retail has ramped up IT use (and spending) dramatically over the past decade or so. Most industries have scaled up their existing IT use, but e-commerce and large-scale analytics represent completely new IT costs. One result is that costs haven't been well contained, because without historical numbers for comparison, no one had any idea how much spending was reasonable or how much they could or should be cut. But increasingly it's looking like the answer is simple: Whatever it is, it's too high.

Read Full Article


Keywords: retail supply chain, energy consumption in retail, Big Data, analytics & business intelligence, supply chain solutions, data servers, supply chain management IT

How Much Energy Does Retail Consume to Power E-commerce and Business Intelligence?