Consolidation means more efficiency surely?
The "cloud", by many observers, offers a possibility of consolidation of data services.
That is certainly the chief benefit of those companies taking their computing requirements to the cloud.
Instead of each company requiring in-house IT services, they are off-shored to a data centre. Surely where processing equipment is centralised, it is easier to gain efficiencies of scale, this the supposed benefit of virtualisation. Just think of all the idle CPU cycles in your in-house systems being put to use elsewhere to handle someone else's compute requirements, not to mention all the power and space requirements of UPSs, air conditioning equipment, displays, network hubs, backup devices etc.
I think they have got this cloud thing all backward.
The problem is, the cloud computing paradigm offers a lot of opportunities for the delivery of services that your just couldn't do in-house. Think of what a modern search engine does these days? Does anyone really think that it would be cost effective for each company to do that in-house? Consolidation made that feasible and cost-effective.
The problem is these large data centres are easy targets. They consume lots of power and equipment and therefore look definitely "ungreen".
The reality is that this is the future and it holds the possibility of increasing the green credentials of IT rather than reducing it.