23 Dec 2022

How Responsible IT Drives Infrastructure, Brand, and Culture (Guest blog from IBM)

Author: David Hewitt, Cloud Platform Director at IBM UKI

In a recent report, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), including data centres, communication networks, and user devices, accounted for an estimated 4-6% of global electricity use in 2020. Increasing demand for ICT is expected to lead to an increase in global ICT energy use over the next decade. This further highlights the need for organisations to embrace responsible computing and green IT methods.

Organisations that embrace green principles can not only lower their IT operating costs and reduce their carbon footprint but, in the long run, will enjoy a competitive edge with a positive brand reputation - attracting new customers, consumer loyalty and increasing market share.

One key strategy in embracing green IT is responsible computing. Responsible Computing helps ensure that your company is a responsible contributor to – and an advocate for – the planet’s sustainable development goals. The adoption of responsible computing is not only about saving money, but how to reduce energy costs and building a greener corporate image. As an organisation that has been committed to sustainability for more than 50 years, we are continually putting great strides into helping organisations and ourselves empower our journey to a better tomorrow.

Greener cloud

We currently design, deploy and manage energy-efficient infrastructures and innovations with a hybrid cloud approach using our Turbonomic platform to help make an immediate impact on energy use by optimising how our clients allocate resources to applications.

The impact has been positive, with clients using IBM Turbonomic seeing a 33% reduction in cloud spending, a 75% reduction in infrastructure annual refresh costs, and a 70% avoidance in future infrastructure growth spending without disrupting day-to-day business.

Our hybrid cloud approach also includes utilising our IBM z16 mainframe which uses a smaller energy footprint to reduce costs for a system that considers sustainability in every aspect of the product lifecycle.

We also look at reducing carbon footprint through energy-efficient data centres with IBM Systems and IBM Cloud, this provides better utilisation of resources through virtualisation, containerisation, and hardware acceleration of energy-intensive algorithms such as cryptography and artificial intelligence. We have seen our LinuxONE sustainability capabilities can reduce energy consumption by 75%, space by 50%, and CO2e footprint by over 850 metric tons annually compared to similar industry standard servers.

Our commitment to green and responsible IT has also recently been highlighted with our development of AI chips that rely on reduced precision to cut energy consumption while maintaining model accuracy. This includes AI accelerator chips built with 7nm technology that we are making available at our AI Hardware Centre in New York.

Reputation matters

Adopting sustainable practices, even beyond just IT architecture can make an organisation more marketable and help with its brand reputation. A recent study by Forrester highlighted how conscious consumers are of the environment and the impact it has on who they work for or buy from. Improper IT asset disposition can easily damage a company’s brand, therefore, adopting the right strategy and practices will protect not only the organisation but help in the competitive edge over other competitors.

Inside out

A positive impact of adopting responsible computing is that it shows your employees that your organisation cares about the environment and is taking the necessary steps towards improving it. According to an IBM report, two out of three say they are more willing to apply for (67%) and accept (68%) jobs from organisations they consider to be environmentally sustainable. And that figure rises to 80% for those people particularly passionate about the planet. Organisations that set out sustainability goals across the entire company showcases commitment to the cause and can help with employee retention and the overall culture.

Going forward

The benefit of responsible IT is clear, from lower carbon emissions, cost, and energy savings, to improving customer and employee retention. Cultivating sustainable and green IT practices will help organisations become more efficient, competitive, and profitable. Understanding the benefits of Green IT and how technology is already available to help businesses save money and reduce their carbon footprint will have a greater impact on the future.


 

Chris Hazell

Chris Hazell

Programme Manager - Cloud, Tech and Innovation, techUK

Sue Daley

Sue Daley

Director, Technology and Innovation