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A broad overview of Green IT

A broad overview of Green IT

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  • Hello. My name is Grace Lam. Welcome to the slidecast Green IT for ACC 626.
  • We will start the presentation with a discussion on what is Green IT
  • There is no one uniform definition of this concept, generally its viewed as the efficient use of technology to reduce energy consumption and subsequently, reduce one’s carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is the measure of the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly or indirectly by a person or organization and roots in the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, articulates it is the optimal use of information…for managing the environmental sustainability of enterprise operations and the supply chain, as well as that of its products, services and resources throughout their lifecycle.” Another leading expert, John Lamb, an IBM Certified IT Architect, describes it as the study and practice of using computer resources efficiently, encompassing the triple bottom line. The triple bottom line views the success of a business on three criteria: socially, environmentally, and profitability.
  • So, why is there a need for green IT?There is a need in green IT due to trends, such as increase in use of electronic transactions and shift to electronic medical records, that are increasing the need for data centres. The energy consumption at such centres, to power and to cool down the equipments, is the second largest expense of an IT department.IBM estimated that a typical 25,000 square feet data centre will cost a company $2.5 million a year to run, at a cost of 12 cent per kilowatt. By implementing green IT, there can be up to a 50% reduction in cost and such savings can be invested in core areas of the company such as R&D. Another reason is to avoid business disruption due to restricted electricity availability and subsequently data availability. In 2006, financial institutes at Canary Wharf, a major business district in London, UK, were told that the existing electric grid was incapable of handling the increased power demand of their newly installed servers. As well, in 2008, data centres south of 14th Street in Manhattan new York experienced restricted power as the grid could not meet the high demand. Reducing the need for electricity decreases the likelihood that there will not be enough power to run equipments and minimizes business disruption. Also, powering computers and monitors alone, accounts for 32.7% of an office’s energy consumption. Utilization of green IT methodoloy for computers can help a company reduce its electrical costs.
  • There is a perception that green IT adoption is a costly, lenghty process. This is not true.The adoption of green IT can be virtually cost free and instantaneous as illustrated later on in the slidecast. Green IT can be integrated with existing business processes, resulting in little business disruption.
  • Next, we’ll move onto discussing Green IT from a CIO’s perspective.
  • CIOs are increasingly aware of the benefits that green IT can bring to their companies. David Meyers of CISCO describes CIOs as green ambassadors and are taking responsibility to drive sustainable business practices. According to research done by CISCO, 61% of CIOs said sustainability is a key issue, while 44% said it’s a board level concern. Most companies have already started to reduce their carbon footprints – in fact 9 out of 10 said their companies have either made incremental or aggressive efforts to do so.
  • There are many barriers that CIOs and IT decision maker face when trying to incorporate green IT into their companies. Most notably, is the lack of senior management and C-suite level executives support. Proper implementation of any project requires the support from management and this is no exception. In companies wehre there is a lack of effective communication channel, CIOs might find it hard to educate and convince management on the merits of green IT. The lack of information and practical implementation guidelines as green IT is still in its infancy doesn’t help either. As well, there is a low supply of well qualified green IT talent in the market. In other situations, a lack of capital can be a barrier. Although mentioned earlier implementation can be costless, some ways to be green require upfront investment. In difficult economic times, this can be a factor in implementing or not. Finally, there can be a lack of time to develop a thoughtful approach, especially considering how fast technology changes. The need for speed in business is also pressuring.
  • So what do CIOs need to do now. CIOs need to create a plan and communicate it aggressively with management and stakeholders. The plan should outline the benefits and the potential cost savings in dollar terms. The CIO would need to collaborate with the CFO to quantify the potential savings. The plan should also highlight the difference between the cost of running the current IT infrastructure and the cost to run a ‘greener’ version. As policy setters, CIOs should promote energy saving habits to employees through all communication channels – such as putting up posters, sending out emails on tips to being green or to hold department meetings. The employees are ultimately the users – having them be aware of their own carbon footprint will benefit the company.
  • Now we’ll take about ways to be green.
  • With existing technology, companies can implement a policy to turn off compntuers and monitors after work hours and to use the energy management features. This can reduce up to 40% in energy consumption. As well for manufacturing companies, they can investigate whether they can redesign how their computers operate their heavy machineries. For example, Catepillar, a manufacturer of moving equipments, redesiged how their computers operate their paint booths leading to a reduction in the amount of paint used. This decreased the cost of goods sold and boosted profits.
  • Whenpurchaisng new equipment, companies should assess whether there is an actually need. Companies rountinely add servers as part of their refresh program every 3-5 years. They never considered that on average 15% of the servers are actually not used. Companies can also incorporate a buy green criteria in their purchasing procedures. When assessing which equipment to buy, they should consider the required energy to operate and whether they are Energy star, RoHs or EPEAT certified. These certified equipments require less energy to operate than non certified.As well, buying multi functional equipment can free up office space and save energy. Consider buying a separate printer and photocopier for each department vs. buying one all in one machine for the departments to share.
  • Next, green design and technology with a focus on control airflow can yield cost reduction in data centres. For example, Intel’s Asian offices designed their server rooms to be able to redirect the heat generated by the servers to its cafeteria and restroom. The heat is then used to heat water at these locations. Not only do the server rooms get cooler but energy usage at the cafeteria and restrooms also decrease.
  • Lastly, virtualization, the condensation of servers, reduces the energy needed to run and cool servers and free up floor space. Floor space might be an issue if a company works in large downtown cores. However, virtualization can decrease overall server efficiency but not always. For example, in 2007 Sun Microsystems consolidated its Silicon Valley data centres via virtualization,freeing up half of the floor space and reduce electricity consumption by 61%. Although the number of servers decreased from 2,177 to 1,240, computing power actually increased 456%.
  • Executives always wonder whether this environmental movement is a fad or not. We will see why it is not a fad in the next few slides
  • There has been increased political movement that suggests government is pushing for more sustainable practices. The obamaadmidmistaration pledged more than 100B in sustainable technology, a quarter of G20’s total 400b pledge. There has also been an increase in tax incentives available, such as energy star purchase rebates and a move to more stringent regulatory and reporting requirements. For example,the carbon reduction commitment energy efficiency scheme in the UK requires companies using more than 600Mw a year to purchase allowances based on their usage.
  • Venture capitalists are also interested in investing in clean technolgoy. Since 2005, they have invested over 20 billion. Generation Y, those who are under 30, are pushing for the adoption of web 2.0 and virtual workplaces, increasing the demand for servers.
  • Lastly, academia sees sustainability as a key to future competitve advantage. An article in the Harvard Business Review said “Quest for sustainably is already starting to transform the competitive landscape…By treating sustainability as a goal today, early [adopters of green IT] will develop competencies that rivals will be hard-pressed to match. The competitive advantage will stand them in a good stead…”All these indicators point to longevity for green IT. Companies that ignore such signs might find them in trouble in the future.
  • Hewlettpackard is a company often noted in green IT literature. It’s a company that incorporated sustainability into its mandate.
  • An example of HP being proactive with sustainability has to do with their soldering process. This process historically uses lead, a highly toxic metal. Realizing that this metal will one day be banned, HP developed a new process doesn’t require its use. When the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive took effect in July 2006, HP was In full compliance, resulting in no distruption in it’s production.
  • Furthermroe, HP noticed early on that cooling servers is expensive and polluting. As a respond, it developed thhe Dynamic Smart cooling system that cuts costs b 20-45%. In the lab, cooling requirements decreased from 45.8 kW to 13.5 kW. This can save companies a lot of money.
  • Given that it is likely the environmental concerns of the public will not dissipate, governments will be pressured to take action to impose stricter regulations to pollutions and emissions. This might render some companies unable to operate in the future, resulting in a disruption of business and loss of profit. Companies that meet the required and going beyond what is needed, will find themselves ready and in compliance when stricter regulations are passed, as Hewlett-Packard did. As well, with cost reduction being constantly on the corporate agenda, employing energy efficient technology, such as devices that are Energy Star® certified, will decrease operation expenses. The electricity bill will be minimized at the very least. Virtualization of servers can also decrease energy consumption as well as freeing up valuable office space. If other means are employed, such as capturing heat from server rooms as Intel did, more benefits will materialize. Since there are many benefits of using green IT, CIOs should promote their usage in their companies. Although there will be barriers to overcome, the possible savings cannot be ignored. Monitoring and assessing the technology on efficiency metrics will be important, as well as cultivating a work environment that is conscious of simple actions such as turning off your laptop when not in use can make a difference in aggregate. The bottom line is using green IT will translate to cost savings to companies. Whether companies want to be perceived green or to just boost their profit, green IT is the way to go.
  • Thank you for listening to my slidecast. I hope you learned something new about Green IT and incorporate the practice into your business.

Green IT Green IT Presentation Transcript

  • Green it
    Presented by Grace Lam
    ACC 626
    July 6th, 2011
  • What is Green IT
  • What is Green IT
    No uniform definition of green IT
    Generally, it’s the efficient use of technology to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint
    Gartner: “optimal use of information…for managing the environmental sustainability of enterprise operations and the supply chain, as well as that of its products, services and resources throughout their lifecycle.”
    John Lamb (IBM Senior Certified IT Architect): the study and practice of using computer resources efficiently, encompassing the triple bottom line
  • What is Green IT (continue)
    Why the need for green IT?
    Growing trends: increase in electronic transactions, shift to electronic medical records
    Data centres – the energy consumption to power and cool the servers is the second largest expense of an IT department’s budget
    To avoid business disruption due to restricted electricity availability, and subsequently data availability
    Powering computers and monitors accounts for 32.7% of the energy consumption
  • What is Green IT (continue)
    Adoption of green IT
    does not have to be costly
    Time consuming
    Can be integrated into existing business processes
  • From a CIO’s Perspective
  • CIOs are ‘green ambassadors’
    61% - sustainability is a key issue
    44% - sustainability is a board-level issue
    9 out of 10 companies have made ‘incremental’ or ‘aggressive’ efforts to reduce their companies’ carbon footprint
    From a CIO’s perspective
  • Barriers
    Lack of senior management and C-suite level executives support
    Lack of effective organizational communication
    Lack of information and practical implementation guidelines
    Lack of well qualified green IT talent
    Lack of capital
    Lack of time to develop a thoughtful approach
    From a CIO’s perspective (continue)
  • From a CIO’s perspective (continue)
    What CIOs need to do now
    Create a plan
    Work with the CFO to quantify potential savings in terms of dollar amounts
    Compare how much kWh of electricity is used by the existing IT infrastructure and compare it with the usage expected of a ‘green’ infrastructure
    Communicate aggressively with management and stakeholders on the benefits of green IT
    Promote among employees
  • Ways to be Green
  • Ways to be Green
    With existing technology…
    Turn off computers and monitors after work hours and utilize the energy management features available on their equipments
    Can reduce up to 40% of energy consumption
    In manufacturing companies, redesign how computer operates have machinery
  • Ways to be Green (continue)
    When purchasing new equipment…
    Assessing whether there is an actually need to refresh data centres
    Buying equipment with Energy Star® certification (North America), RoHS-certified (Europe) or EPEAT certified (U.S.)
    Buying multi-functional equipment
  • Ways to be Green (continue)
    Considering the data centre layout…
    Incorporate green design and technology
    Paying attention to airflow
    EX. Intel
  • Ways to be Green (continue)
    Virtualization…
    Condenses multiple servers onto a single server,
    Cooling needs also reduced
    However, virtualization has its disadvantages.
  • Is Green IT a fad
  • Is Green IT a fad
    It is nota fad because…
    In politics,
    Obama administration pledged more than $100B in sustainable technology
    G20 in total pledged $400B
    Tax incentives (Energy Star® rebates)
    Move to require more stringent regulatory and reporting requirements around energy use
  • Is Green IT a fad (continue)
    In the venture capitalists’ economy,
    Invested in excess of $20 billion in clean technology companies since 2005
    In social trends,
    Generation Y is pushing of adoption of Web 2.0 and virtual workplace
  • Is Green IT a fad (continue)
    In academics,
    “Quest for sustainability is already starting to transform the competitive landscape…By treating sustainability as a goal today, early [adopters of green IT] will develop competencies that rivals will be hard-pressed to match. The competitive advantage will stand them in a good stead…”
    - Harvard Business Review
  • An example:Hewett-Packard
  • Hewlett-Packard
    Lead in soldering process
    Realized it would one day be banned
    Took a decade to develop new process
    Consequently, when the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive took effect in July 2006, HP was ahead of its competitor and was able to fully comply, resulting in no disruption in production
  • Hewlett-Packard (continue)
    Developed Dynamic Smart Cooling
    Cuts cooling costs by 20-45%
    In the lab, HP was able to reduce the power needed to cool a centre from 45.8 kW (using standard industry setup) to 13.5 kW.
  • Closing remarks
  • Closing remarks
    Government will enact stricter regulations due to public pressure
    Companies that meet the required and beyond will find themselves ready when stricter regulations pass, leading to no business disruption
    Cost savings in electricity
    Maintain or achieve competitive advantage
  • Thank you