The footprint of IT has reached the same levels today as the global CO2 emissions of global air traffic. Furthermore, various studies show that in the coming years the digital revolution entails the energy consumption produced from IT being multiplied with an increase from today’s 2% of the world’s CO2 emissions to a minimum of 8% in 2030.
Therefore, it is imperative to focus on CO2 emissions from IT.
In 2017, a leading international IT expert carried out a study on the use of IT servers. One of the conclusions was that about one-quarter of the servers “were ’zombies’ sucking up power without doing useful work”. In addition to using electricity, servers often cause unnecessary software costs. SMT Data’s experience has proved that these figures apply to most companies.
But with the right focus, companies can actually reduce both the CO2 emission and at the same time reduce the costs of IT capacity by about 25% thereby freeing resources to be used for growth oriented activities.
The reason for the significant IT footprint is that we use numerous solutions demanding increased computer capacity interlinked through software. As a result, the underlying data centers are growing proportionally in size. Digitalization, AI, Machine Learning, and Data Science are areas catalyzing the development.
This fantastic “disruptive” technological development opens up new business opportunities and consequently, growth. But the development also means that IT consumption is growing at an unprecedented rate. Therefore, the increased IT use also leads to the growing energy consumption, heat emission, as well as consumption of space and materials that can only be partially recycled.
Danish companies alone can annually reduce costs for IT capacity by more than a billion DKK and save the world the environmental effect.
The UN’s Global Goals to ensure that everyone has access to sustainable energy can, to a certain extent, meet the environmental challenges. But this is not the same as saying that you should not focus on the savings potential in order to both reduce the CO2 emissions and at the same time improve the bottom line. The implications of the recently concluded Danish Climate Act makes it even more vital.
The environmental impact of IT is an executive responsibility on an equal footing with all other areas to ensure that the goals of the Climate Act are achieved.
There is a short list of solutions providers that can help companies find where their IT capacity – both on mainframe and distributed servers, is in excess of their needs. These solutions help IT organizations in pointing out optimization and rightsizing opportunities that reduce consumption
and cost without negatively affecting performance. This ongoing exercise is not only good for the economic health of the companies but also a must for the health of our planet.
You can learn more about how to improve your IT sustainability by reducing unnecessary capacity-related consumption.
This article was recently published at SMT Data.
Nils Kierkegaard has been part of SMT Data’s management since 2009. Nils has more than 30 years of experience from executive positions within the IT industry.