No typo in title. The skies for cloud computing may well be green – energy efficient green. This could accelerate the move to cloud computing. 

Demand for Data Puts Engineers in Spotlight (New York Times, 17 June 2008) reports on the rapidly rising demand for engineers who can reduce power and cooling requirements of data centers.

Reading this, I was thinking of articles on cloud computing and how Google and its competitors are building enormous data centers, sited specifically to take advantage of hydro or other low-cost power supplies. I don’t know for sure but my guess is that the energy cost per unit of computing in the cloud is lower than in a data center (granted the cloud is a data center but I am taking poetic license).

Technology, unlike law practice, changes rapidly. For a time, we had a surplus of data centers. No more. For a time, software as a service was a curiosity. No more. For a very long time, no one worried about electricity for or cooling of computers. No more. Law firms long resisted the move to data centers. No more.

Cloud computing raises many issues, not least of which are security and functionality if disconnected from the cloud. Underlying economics already drive some computing to the cloud. Will the exponentially growing interest in being green cause businesses to migrate to the cloud? I doubt law firms will be the first to move but with all the other unexpected tech shifts, BigLaw CIOs should keep an eye on these two possibly converging trends.