The Growing Role of Green IT in the Workplace

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In 2016, businesses all over the world are emphasizing sustainability and reduced waste. One specific way they’re doing this is through the use of “Green IT processes.”

Here are a few things you need to know in order to get started:

1. Green IT is Loosely Defined

It may seem strange to have such a specific term without a concrete definition, but Green IT is actually loosely defined at this point in time. The reason is that every business views it through a unique lens. Here are a couple good definitions, though, to help you get a better grasp of the concept:

– Margaret Rouse of TechTarget puts it like this: “Green IT aims to minimize the negative impact of IT operations on the environment by designing, manufacturing, operating and disposing of computers and computer-related products in an environmentally-friendly manner.”

– Consultant Dan McCarthy explains it this way: “Green IT is a set of practical measures designed to ensure that Information Technology is developed, delivered and used in a way that is environmentally friendly, sustainable and energy efficient.”

Whichever semantics you prefer, Green IT is essentially designed to make IT processes more eco-friendly and sustainable for businesses of all sizes. But don’t get hung up on the definition. Instead, focus on what’s happening beneath he surface.

2. The Role of Cloud Computing

While many argue that Green IT has been around since the early 1990s, when the EPA launched Energy Star, the real transformation occurred more recently when cloud computing entered the picture.

According to Christopher Mines, a Senior VP and Research Director for Forrester Research, cloud technology has addressed two important elements of Green IT: resource efficiency and energy efficiency.

For starters, the pay-per-use nature of cloud computing results in more effective adoption behaviors and drives efficiencies in other areas of business. This leads to better life cycle management down the road.

Another wonderful thing about cloud technology is that it’s so flexible. Different businesses can use software solutions in unique areas to address very specific issues. Just check out some of these success stories to get an idea of how effective and versatile the cloud can be. From increasing packaging and installation process efficiency to decreasing maintenance and time to market for new product development, cloud computing plays a vital role in Green IT.

3. How Data Centers Fit Into the Picture

With cloud computing and virtualization in the picture, businesses are able to reduce their dependence on physical servers. This leads to numerous green benefits. Because less equipment is required to run various workloads, data centers demand less electricity and human interaction. Overall, data centers become exponentially more efficient and no longer drain a company’s resources.

4. Focus on Cleaner Power Sources

The majority of electricity and power in the average office, warehouse, or production facility comes from power stations that run on fuels such as coal and oil. The issue – as you’re well aware – is that this process produces a ton of greenhouse gas. With Green IT, these dirty sources of power are replaced with clean sources like solar, water, and wind. Not only do clean power sources produce just a fraction of the volume of harmful greenhouse gases, but they’re also renewable.

How Will You Go Green?

There’s no manual or step-by-step guide to pursuing Green IT. It looks different for every organization and you must decide what your business is going to do in order to place a bigger emphasis on both short-term and long-term sustainability.

Should you choose to pursue Green IT, the benefits will far outweigh the initial costs.