Cloud data centers tend to be optimized for energy efficiency, it has been noted.
Rhonda Ascierto, senior analyst at Ovum, added that they are usually run "far more sustainably than on-premises operations" and may be powered by renewable energy sources.
However, she noted that there are some scalability issues being flagged up within the cloud.
At the moment, it is "not clear the degree to which excess capacity is being built but not utilized".
Ms Ascierto added that companies will find that as they move their operations to the cloud, they are no longer subject to the same capacity limitations that came with their on-premises data center.
As such, companies are likely to increase their IT operations "considerably" in moving to the cloud.
As a result, the IT expert explained, "even though the cloud can be highly energy efficient, it seems plausible that cloud computing could actually increase IT's total carbon footprint over time".