In the current digital landscape, people expect technology to be fast and powerful, with no downtime and unlimited storage. That goes for technology in both work and personal contexts. The technology industry has been scrambling to keep up with this soaring demand. Unfortunately, the IT sector’s exponential growth has come at the expense of sustainable business practices, accounting for 5-15% of global energy consumption in 2020. With this figure projected to double by 2030, environmental concerns have led to an increased demand for Green IT.
That’s alarming given mounting environmental concerns, and it’s putting a spotlight on the IT industry. Consumers aren’t likely to reduce their expectations of technology, but they are increasingly interested in supporting products and companies that demonstrate responsible environmental stewardship. Plus, employees want to know that they’re working for a company with business practices that align with their values. Can all these elements coexist?
In short, yes. Enter Green IT. Green IT, also referred to as “green computing” or “sustainable IT,” refers to IT practices that help mitigate environmental impact, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous waste; equipment reuse and responsible disposal; and optimizing energy consumption.
The concept of Green IT has been around for more than 30 years, starting with the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program. Of course, Green IT looks a lot different than it did in 1992—and it’s more possible than ever to achieve green business practices while maintaining competitive advantage and appealing to consumers and employees who want to be associated with companies that share their values. Here are a just a few of the strategies we’re using at Alludo:
Equipment efficiency. At Alludo, we donate or re-sell equipment that we’re finished using but that is still functional. When IT equipment needs to be end-of-lifed, we partner with an organization that reuses components to avoid landfilling.
Remote work. Our remote-first work environment is another key factor in mitigating our emissions, taking cars off the roads and allowing us to significantly reduce resource expenditure that formerly kept offices powered up.
Virtualization. We’re also proud that one of our core product offerings, Parallels, allows our customers to leverage our technology to access the applications, infrastructure, and tools they need to be productive from anywhere and on any device. In addition, developers and knowledge workers have a choice of using the power of our solution across desktop, server and cloud.
There’s one more strategy that we’re increasingly leveraging at Alludo, and it’s a game changer for any company seeking to reduce their carbon footprint: the cloud.
The environmental advantage of the cloud is that it allows companies to reduce dependence on on-premises IT infrastructure such as local hardware and servers. The use of local servers is a major contributing factor to a company’s overall energy consumption. To stay operational, you need enough servers to accommodate your peak demands. That means having an inflated capacity during all other times. Even when idle, servers use up to 50% of their power. And that’s the servers that are still functional at least some of the time. There are also an astonishing number of “zombie servers,” which are servers without visibility or external links. These servers consume energy but have no real function. By some estimates, 30% of physical servers inside data centers are zombie servers, amounting to more than 10 million zombie servers worldwide.
Meanwhile, properly orchestrated cloud computing enables easy scaling to accommodate peaks and drops in demand.
Local servers also require local space and all the environmental factors that come with the creation and maintenance of that space, e.g. lighting, land use, construction, and temperature regulation.
For all these reasons, cloud servers are significantly more efficient. A study from IDC estimated that between 2021 and 2024, cloud adoption may avoid 1 billion tons of CO2 emissions.
The cloud is not without its environmental considerations, but there’s a growing movement toward making the cloud as efficient as possible—ideally to the point of carbon neutrality.
Like we said, Green IT isn’t a trend. It’s an essential part of doing business in today’s climate. We all need to do our part. At Alludo, we’re committed to doing the work to foster sustainable business practices while delivering the experiences that our customers and employees expect from us.
Learn more about how Alludo is securing a sustainable future.