There is no doubt that sustainability has quickly become a top business initiative – regardless of industry, company size, or geography. We are excited to launch this first blog as a part of an upcoming series that will cover the most pressing challenges, opportunities, best practices, and first steps for organizations on their path towards green IT.
According to 451 Research, 53% of organizations currently have a formal Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program or are in the process of planning one*. Many sustainability initiatives are being driven by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) – but they must work closely with their IT organization to actually deliver on these goals. Technology has a critical role to play in building a sustainable future – and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have an opportunity to drive transformative change on the journey to green IT. The path to get there isn’t necessarily clear, and it's important to be aware of common roadblocks so you can proactively plan and truly operationalize sustainability.1. Ambiguous Expectations for IT
While many organizations have enterprise-wide sustainability goals, only 18% have a comprehensive sustainable IT strategy with well-defined goals and target timelines. Companies are setting audacious goals around achieving carbon neutrality – or even becoming carbon negative, in some cases. Without knowing the role of IT in these initiatives, it makes it difficult to gauge first steps or what new tools, processes, and expertise is required. CEOs must work step-in-step with their CIOs to set clear expectations around how technology can be leveraged to not only achieve sustainability goals, but act as a competitive advantage as sustainability increasingly becomes a factor in customer buying decisions.2. Unclear Metrics for Success
As Peter Drucker, the father of management, once said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
Today, organizations have yet to develop a common framework for measuring sustainability progress. There are various frameworks, reporting standards, and metrics available – all of which vary by organization and where the pressure is coming from. Some of the most common frameworks include:
- Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
- Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
- Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
- Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
Not only are the metrics and reporting frameworks non-standardized, but many organizations lack visibility into their infrastructure and application stack, leaving them unable to determine a clear starting point. Gaining visibility into your IT environment is an important first step – from there, your team can begin to set realistic metrics around increasing utilization and reducing resource consumption.3. Harmonizing Sustainability with Current IT Goals
Reducing your IT organization’s carbon footprint is a must – but it cannot come at the expense of application performance or cost overruns. Organizations should not have to choose between maintaining their IT environments or innovating towards a sustainable future – and with AI and automation, they don’t have to. By leveraging these technologies, the time allocated to keeping the lights on will decrease, providing more time for teams to complete higher level projects that drive the business forward. Leading organizations treat sustainability as a path towards innovation – not just a mandate to report on.4. Building an Ecosystem of Trusted Technology Partners
IDC predicts that by 2025, 75% of organizations will deploy software tools to monitor utilization on premises, in the cloud, or at edge locations to improve utilization metrics that reduce energy costs and improve sustainability (Source: IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Sustainability 2022 Predictions, Oct 2021, Doc # US48300021*). Leveraging expertise from new tools or technology partners will be an important step to take on the journey to carbon neutrality. New tools may be required to monitor, measure, and optimize IT’s contribution to sustainability initiatives. On top of this, there’s a lot of scrutiny around greenwashing and the misleading impression it can give, which is why it’s imperative that organizations set clear goals and KPIs to alleviate the growing concern from consumers.
On average, Turbonomic customers can reduce their cloud and data center consumption by at least 30% within 6 months. Learn more about how Turbonomic is helping our customers assure application performance while reducing energy consumption in their IT environment.
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