Technology, an ever-expanding and rapidly evolving industry. With such a pace, it is important for organisations to not only think ahead when it comes to their adoption of new solutions but to also ensure that they do so in a sustainable way.
Focusing on one technology in particular, Gartner analysts, explored the benefits of having a sustainable IT infrastructure in its latest report titled: Unlock the Business Benefits of Sustainable IT Infrastructure.
Implementing a data centre infrastructure sustainability programme
According to Gartner, 75% of organisations will have implemented a data centre infrastructure sustainability programme by 2027 to drive cost optimisation and manage stakeholder pressures. This figure has drastically increased from less than 5% in 2022.
“Responsibilities for sustainability are increasingly being passed down from CIOs to infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders to improve IT’s environmental performance, particularly around data centres,” said Autumn Stanish, Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner.
She added: “This has led many down the path of greater spend and investment in environmental solutions, but environmental impact shouldn’t be the only focus. Sustainability can also have a significant positive impact on non-environmental factors, such as brand, innovation, resilience and attracting talent.”
However, Gartner emphasises that the environmental performance of IT infrastructure is only one facet of a strong infrastructure and operations (I&O) sustainability strategy.
“Success in aligning the I&O strategy with critical business outcomes requires a more comprehensive approach that recognises the indirect benefits that come with sustainable IT operations. This is true specifically for organisations in which IT is material to the business, such as financial services,” said Stanish.
Top three indirect benefits
Cost reduction: the most effective action that an I&O leader can take is to defer purchasing new equipment and better manage, optimise or redeploy what they already have. Up to 60% in cost savings can be achieved by extending the lifespan of a product from three to five years.
Innovation: using sustainable strategies to drive innovation and growth through new products and business models. In particular, such innovations are based on AI technology, analytics insights, and circular business models.
“The core focus of many enterprises with a sustainability strategy is actually around how they can use it to drive innovation, differentiation and growth through new products and business models. However, fewer than half of I&O leaders we speak to are currently taking advantage of the business benefits beyond reduced energy costs,” commented Stanish.
Risk management and mitigation: with price fluctuations and supply constraints, greater resilience can be achieved with better risk management and mitigation by being more sustainable in recycling and resource utilisation. According to Gartner, 85% of leaders agree that sustainability protects organisations from disruption.
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