Tuesday, January 31, 2023

CIOs Should Prioritize Environmental Sustainability Going Forward

By Vishal Muktewar - February 04, 2022 4 Mins Read

With the carbon footprint of the enterprise industry continuing to witness an upward trend due to the latest technology developments, it is the responsibility of CIOs to prioritize environmental sustainability moving forward.

Today’s advancement in technological solutions has helped to increase the efficiency and security of the infrastructure that most organizations were lacking previously. While advancements such as e-commerce, augmented reality, machine learning, and much more have helped organizations to benefit in myriad ways, the infrastructure behind them has driven carbon emissions at an unprecedented rate. As per Statista, while the traditional data centers have globally decreased their energy consumption from 97.5 terawatt-hours to 50 hours in the span of 2015-2019, the hyper scale data centers have doubled their energy demand in the same period.

Still, customers and organizations continue to ask for new technologies that will make their life easier and address business challenges. As tech executives and leaders, the responsibility falls upon the shoulders of CIOs to ensure that their organizations are relevant in today’s digital world while leading the organization to lower carbon footprints by concentrating on three priorities as:

Also Read: Four Questions CIOs should ask about Digital Transformation

  • Take initiatives to decrease the carbon footprint in the technology infrastructure
  • Leverage technology to help other entities in the organization to reduce their carbon intensity
  • Help the C-suite counterparts to understand the environmental impact of utilizing each new solution, therefore making responsible choices together.

Reducing the carbon footprint of technology

For their data storage processing requirements, many organizations are dependent on older, legacy enterprise data centers and equipment. However, this approach presents many sustainability challenges.

First, when compared to the latest hardware, the legacy data center and equipment require more energy and subsequently generate more heat. CIOs can thus upgrade their legacy mainframe to a modern server environment that can lower their carbon footprint. They should strive to find additional opportunities to conserve energy. They can opt for virtualization that can reduce server needs by creating multiple simulated environments from a single physical hardware system. CIOs should also consider building greener Kubernetes environments that have the potential to replace multiple bare metal services with thousands of containers running on virtual hardware.

CIOs should also consider opting for colocations or cloud data centers that are much more efficient than a standalone approach. These can maintain the load across multiple organizations, thereby decreasing idle time while meeting peak demand for any one user. However, before considering this approach, CIOs should check where the colocation or cloud providers are utilizing electricity since the negative effects of a high carbon source can overwhelm the efficiency benefits in no time.

Also Read: CIOs Improve Vendor Management Strategies

Help the C-suite counterparts 

Today, technology has become the backbone of every organization, thus giving tech teams to uniquely position themselves to help entire organizations to reduce their environmental impact. Thus, CIOs should be more transparent with their non-tech colleagues about the environmental implications of every new technological innovation. Meaning, while the c-suite may be excited to integrate technology such as blockchain to revamp their supply chain management, CIOs should inform and help them to understand the carbon price tag that comes with it. They should make certain tradeoffs to clear fellow departments and guide their organizations to responsible decisions that serve both the sales goals and their sustainability commitments.

As per McKinsey’s 2020 “Climate risk and response” report, the climate crisis threatens to upend trillions of dollars in economic activity as well as millions of lives. Thus, CIOs should

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Vishal Muktewar

Vishal Muktewar is a Senior Correspondent at On Dot Media. He reports news that focuses on the latest trends and innovations happening in the B2B industry. An IT engineer by profession, Vishal has worked at Insights Success before joining Ondot. His love for stories has driven him to take up a career in enterprise journalism. He effectively uses his knowledge of technology and flair for writing, for crafting features, articles and interactions for technology enterprise media platforms.

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