Navigating the Green Tech Revolution: How Sustainable IT Infrastructure Drives Business Growth and Resilience

In recent years, the importance of sustainability and environmental responsibility has become increasingly evident in all aspects of society. In the business world, this is particularly applicable to the data center industry, which consumes a significant amount of energy and resources. However, according to new research conducted by Gartner, there has been a low adoption rate for data center infrastructure sustainability programs, with only 5% of companies implementing such programs in 2022. Nevertheless, Gartner predicts that this will change significantly in the next six years, with 75% of companies expected to adopt sustainable data center practices by 2027.

Low adoption of data center infrastructure sustainability programs in 2022

The initial resistance to sustainability in the data center industry can be attributed to a lack of understanding or a belief that it would be too costly. The cost of implementing sustainable practices is often perceived as too high and time-consuming to implement. The initial investment may be high, but it brings long-term benefits. According to the Gartner report, there are a variety of cost savings associated with going green.

An increase in the adoption of sustainability programs is expected with over 75% of organizations predicted to implement such programs by 2027, according to the Gartner report. This is a significant increase from the current 5% of companies that have implemented sustainability programs in 2022. As the global demand for data centers continues to grow, the need to reduce carbon emissions from data centers becomes even more critical. This is especially true in light of public scrutiny of businesses that fail to take up their environmental responsibilities.

Sustainability is already driving business growth and creating strategic value, according to Gartner research. The findings revealed that sustainability initiatives were becoming integral to the growth of many businesses, with 42% of respondents reporting that environmentally-friendly choices had helped to drive business growth and create a point of differentiation from competitors. Furthermore, 29% of organizations reported that sustainability initiatives are driving strategic value through industry partnerships.

CIOs are delegating responsibility for sustainability initiatives to dedicated infrastructure and operations leaders as part of the move towards more active sustainability initiatives. These leaders are responsible for developing and implementing data center sustainability programs and reporting on sustainability initiatives’ performance.

Reducing technology purchases is a key focus of many sustainability initiatives. This approach helps to reduce transportation costs, e-waste, and energy-based carbon emissions. According to the Gartner report, organizations can achieve cost savings of up to 60% by extending the lifespan of their IT equipment.

Optimizing storage capacity for more efficient use is another way to reduce e-waste and save money. Many data centers have unused space that they’re paying to power, even though it’s not being used. Furthermore, optimizing capacity can free up space for new technologies, like AI, that require a higher amount of storage.

Sustainability initiatives can free up resources for new technology deployment. Beyond cost savings, sustainability initiatives can also free up resources for deploying new technologies such as artificial intelligence and analytics. AI and analytics can bring significant performance improvements, but they often require a significant investment to deliver real value. By implementing sustainable practices, organizations can free up resources for these important emerging technologies.

Open telemetry platforms as a tool for gaining insights into energy use and optimization

Open telemetry platforms are another tool that can be used to gain insights into energy use in an organization or data center. This information can be utilized to optimize energy usage, reducing costs, while also reducing the data center’s overall environmental impact.

Longer lifecycles for equipment and the use of renewable energy are risk mitigation strategies that businesses can adopt. Sustainable data center practices can ultimately reduce potential risks to businesses. Although longer lifecycles for equipment may mean a higher initial cost, they insulate businesses against market disruptions or shifts in the industry. Similarly, renewable energy use makes the business less dependent on fossil fuels, which can be vulnerable to price fluctuations or supply chain disruptions.

In conclusion, the implementation of sustainability initiatives in the data center industry will require significant investment, effort, and time. Nevertheless, the Gartner report makes a compelling case for organizations to make this investment. Sustainability initiatives not only demonstrate environmental responsibility but also bring significant cost savings and free up resources for new technologies like AI and analytics. Additionally, they protect businesses from market risks and position them better in the eyes of stakeholders who scrutinize environmental responsibilities. By going green and implementing sustainability programs, businesses can prosper both commercially and environmentally.

Explore more