Understanding the significant environmental footprint of the technology industry, it is clear that the future lies in the intersection of sustainability and technology. In Singapore, as larger swaths of information are generated, and organizations amass even more data, the demand for data centers and the energy to run them will continue to grow. In fact, data centers are projected to account for 12% of the nation’s total energy demand by 2030.
However, energy consumption is just part of the impact, as issues such as water consumption and e-waste generation need to be considered. Fortunately, the IT community in Singapore is aware of these issues and recognizes that sustainable growth is a top priority for organizations.
In fact, Nutanix’s fifth annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) research report, released late last month, found that almost all (95%) respondents in Singapore agreed that sustainability is more important to their organization than a year ago. This illustrates how integrating sustainable practices into technology operations has become increasingly important for enterprises.
Steering technology toward sustainability
One of the main challenges businesses face is managing the complex and diverse technology environments in which they operate. The ECI report shows that in the Asia-Pacific region, 44 percent of companies have relocated applications in the last 12 months to meet sustainability goals, far outpacing the Americas or EMEA.
Thus, delivering sustainable business strategies that include IT operations is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses. As businesses expand their technology infrastructure, they must find ways to manage their carbon footprint and reduce their environmental impact.
Most organizations would love it if one comprehensive guide acted like a compass in guiding them on how to best navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of sustainability in technology. Every organization is different and requires a nuanced approach to develop and bring such strategies to life. To make impactful, positive change, organizations should think holistically and consider the environmental impact of technology as well as the social and economic dimensions of sustainability.
Paving an impactful sustainability strategy
Sustainability in technology requires a combination of technological innovation and strategic planning. By leveraging cutting-edge technology solutions such as hyper converged infrastructure (HCI), businesses may reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint while striving for greater efficiency and performance.
Olam, a food and agricultural business headquartered in Singapore, is a good example of what can be done. The company consolidated its data centers and increased server utilization from 20-30% to 70% by leveraging Nutanix’s HCI solution. The Nutanix solution helped Olam achieve this by eliminating the need for separate storage, networking, and compute systems, improving infrastructure efficiency, and streamlining operations, while reducing its data center footprint. Moreover, Olam’s infrastructure spending decreased by 30% due to reduced hardware costs, power and cooling, and management time.
That said, no business can solve the world’s ESG challenges. There needs to be a concerted effort across industries to enact actual change and drive impactful sustainability outcomes. Technology-focused companies, for example, must work with suppliers and partners to promote responsible sourcing and reduce the environmental impact of our supply chain footprint.
Regulations are also shaping the focus on sustainability in the tech industry. Many countries are introducing regulations that require businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt more sustainable practices. In Singapore, the government has also announced initiatives to prioritize sustainability in the technology industry, such as the Green Data Centre Technology Roadmap. The roadmap outlines plans to decrease energy consumption and carbon emissions in data centers while promoting the use of renewable energy sources to improve the industry’s sustainability.
At the same time, it is important to recognize that sustainability is not just an environmental issue but also a social and economic issue. The industry’s commitment to sustainability must extend beyond our operations to the communities where we operate. Beyond their processes, organizations must also look at investing in local communities, supporting sustainable development, and promoting social responsibility. By investing in the well-being of our communities, we can help to create a more sustainable future for all.
In closing, sustainability has become a necessary consideration for businesses in Singapore, and it must be integrated into all aspects of their operations. Singaporeans support this too, with 31% saying they are willing to pay more for sustainably-sourced goods, and 36% switching to more sustainable alternatives. Although integrating sustainability practices into technology operations presents significant challenges, the benefits are even greater, including cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved brand reputation. Furthermore, businesses prioritizing sustainability will be better equipped to meet the growing demands of consumers and regulators who are increasingly emphasizing it.
The views in the article are those of the author and may not reflect the views of Tech Wire Asia.