Blog post

Sustainability Strategy in Datacenters will Become a key component of Corporate Excellence

By Bettina Tratz-Ryan | May 07, 2013 | 1 Comment

Environmental sustainability, identified in the resource-conscious execution of the business environment as well as its operations of an organization, is one of the key benchmarks for corporate excellence. That benchmark is increasingly applied for corporate risk assessment, and incorporates the analysis of exposure to environmental compliance, the impact of carbon regulations, knowledge exchange and environmental management responsibility as well as governance across the supply chain .
In 2013, many organizations identify sustainability as one of the risk indicators for corporate performance but rate its priority according to its strategic impact in different ways. They are largely influenced by the external factors of governmental oversight and brand/marketing in different geographies. Different executive priorities, as identified in Gartner’s 2012 CEO survey reveal that CEOs recognize sustainability as a holistic and imperative principle in the long term, but the execution and measurement of impact on the different operations lack a structured framework . They are supported by CIOs and IT leaders which drive decisions for IT infrastructure design and management that do not only impact more cost efficiently enterprise goals but will play a part in corporate performance and risk assessment. Energy, human capital, environmental compliance and e-waste are factors in this risk assessment that should be also metrics of a total cost of ownership analysis. The good news is that the market place today is emerging offerings such as energy software management solutions that directly address energy procurement for the entire IT and facilities, relating it to carbon and align efficiency metrics or caps around it, while integrated analysis and management capabilities. Recognizing complex energy relationships and measuring the impacts will allow organizations to capture synergies in risk and compliance reporting by developing environmental processes to determine consistently the sustainable outcome of business and operations simultaneously. Datacenters represent a large consumer for resources, and therefore provide potential to incorporate resource conscious design, operations and management in its management processes. Gartner has developed a sustainable framework for datacenters that connects resource awareness with resource efficient DC operations principles. Those principles are guided by information and data based analytics in order to obtain a comprehensive DC footprint analysis that identifies sustainability as a core element. The framework is guided by new technology solutions that include energy management, carbon translation and reporting functions, and give guidance on compute efficiency for IT systems while addressing power and cooling issues of data center infrastructure tools. Communications interfaces with different devices and dashboards are key to keep all process owners and IT leaders in synch and leverage the potential of broader knowledge exchange of resource consumption between the business applications related to the compute power which the IT department is providing. Sustainability across the operations, especially in the datacenter, is a necessary result to drive IT efficiency and holistic reporting culture across an organization.

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  • Troy Rutman says:

    Bettina this is a main focus for IO…our Lead Sustainabiliity Strategist and our CEO are in lockstep on these issues…look forward to your POV going forward