Sunday, October 1, 2023

Navigating the Cloud Towards a Sustainable Net Zero Future

By Swapnil Mishra - June 21, 2023 5 Mins Read

Navigating the Cloud Towards a Sustainable Net Zero Future

CIOs should consider three crucial actions to achieve sustainability and larger business objectives.

It is common knowledge that moving to cloud computing can help reduce the carbon footprint of their IT infrastructure. It helps them move closer to their net zero goals. However, IT organizations must carefully evaluate the sustainability claims made by cloud providers. At the same time, they have to ensure they make the best use of cloud technology.

CEOs depend on CIOs to find and implement these value-driven technology solutions. CIOs play this crucial role in their organizations’ innovation, agility, and expansion.

CIOs can utilize existing tools to create more sustainable businesses. They can use these technologies to increase the organization’s efficiency. They can also implement new working methods to drive lower emissions, use less energy, and consume less material.

In other instances, they’re identifying, developing, and scaling those technologies to be more sustainable, which results in innovation and better solutions. CIOs should consider three crucial actions to achieve sustainability and larger business objectives. These actions will promote decarbonization along the entire value chain and allow CIOs to maximize their knowledge.

Tech leaders can play a key role in helping organizations achieve their net zero goals. For most CIOs, moving their on-premise applications to the public cloud is one of them.

How to gauge development

Organizations must implement metrics to improve net zero initiative accountability and transparency.

According to a Data Center Industry Survey by Uptime Institute, most organizations still do not record the environmental effect of their operations and data centers.

For instance, Google says it will run on carbon-free energy by 2030 in the year 2020. The company unveiled a metric that shows how to clean Google’s ‘cloud regions’ globally to track this initiative’s development.

There is currently insufficient industry data available for businesses to benchmark themselves. Many different metrics are available and used in a wide range of contexts. Organizations can easily access some of the dashboards cloud service providers offer to determine their environmental credentials.

Boost internal technology

Today, CIOs can impact all technology-related activities- hardware and development included. They can also affect how IT collects, processes, distributes, and stores data. Thus they are also impacting their company’s carbon footprint.

CIOs must collaborate with other important business leaders to best interpret and take action on carbon data across the organization. They must also use recent advancements in analytics, AI, and visualization technologies. This will improve sustainable performance.

CIOs can accelerate sustainability goals in the short term by choosing energy-efficient software, which can significantly reduce energy consumption.

Companies responding to the Uniting Technology and Sustainability survey claimed they used various strategies to integrate sustainability into the software development lifecycle. Some of these strategies included

  • establishing metrics to gauge the sustainability quotient of the technology or software (32%),
  • aligning engineers and developers with the objectives and KPIs of sustainable technology or software (39%), and
  • making testing sustainable by choosing cutting-edge energy-saving methods (33%).

Activate the organization for carbon intelligence

Organizations need a comprehensive strategy for sustainability planning. It should include the following:

  • carbon reduction,
  • carbon removal,
  • incentives and governance,
  • green financing,
  • policy,
  • industry engagement, and
  • collaboration with the value chain to transition to net zero.

CIOs can do this by adopting the following:

  • architectures,
  • digital solutions, and
  • technologies

that supports the delivery and integration of carbon data and insights into fundamental decision-making processes across the organization.

This is one way CIOs can aid in accelerating this transition.

Making carbon-aware decisions enables businesses and their major stakeholders to find and seize new sources of value. These solutions help companies improve their carbon footprint data’s quality, granularity, and frequency. Then firms can integrate it with operational and financial data systems. Businesses with combined carbon and business intelligence are better positioned to grow and compete profitably during the transition to net zero.

Also Read: Best Data-Driven Transformation Strategy

Additional advantages of using the cloud

Switching to the public cloud can improve a company’s overall efficiency and lower its carbon footprint. Companies should consider the elasticity of the cloud rather than replicating the inefficiencies of on-prem in the cloud.

The advantages of using cloud platform services, database environments, and other applications will become apparent once a company uses them. Elasticity is central to the cloud computing philosophy as a whole. Organizations should use more SaaS-based services to reap the true benefits of cloud computing. The teams’ efficiency increases along with the elasticity of the application set as more businesses can utilize these higher-order services.

Work together to build sustainability at the scale

CIOs are integrating sustainability and technology strategies to gain a competitive edge. It will also help to boost financial value and have a long-lasting, beneficial effect on the environment and society. CIOs can create sustainable sources of value-making technology and use them to solve scale carbon-emission challenges. They may help customers map and visualize sustainability issues across value chains.

Or they can work develop integrated platforms designed to serve a common purpose.

This chance to work together with an eye toward sustainability also applies to CIOs’ power over where and how employees work. The CIO can help an organization transition to a more remote or hybrid workforce model. Thus the company can reduce a business’s carbon footprint significantly. This initiative can increase employee satisfaction, fuel a more sustainable organization, and scale sustainability.

CEOs are confident that new technology will help them achieve sustainability goals and increase resilience. Today, 55% of CEOs are improving their ability to collect sustainability data. Also, 48% are switching to a cloud infrastructure.

The CIO’s role in delivering this technology is crucial. Business leaders will need to accelerate decarbonization despite the current macroeconomic crisis. Only then can they achieve the rapid emissions reductions essential to avert the worst effects of climate change. CIOs must be ready to act quickly and operate the levers required to help achieve these objectives on schedule.

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Swapnil Mishra

Swapnil Mishra is a global news correspondent at OnDot Media, with over six years of experience in the field. Swapnil has established herself as a trusted voice in the industry, specializing in technology journalism encompassing enterprise tech. Having collaborated with various media outlets, she has honed her skills in writing about executive leadership, business strategy, industry insights, business technology, supply chain management, blockchain and data management. As a journalism graduate, Swapnil possesses a keen eye for editorial detail and a mastery of language, enabling her to deliver compelling and informative news stories. She has a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex technical concepts into easy-to-understand language.

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