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Green IT: the need for sustainable technology and its competitive advantages

software development services

By cyphershieldtechPublished 2 months ago 4 min read

Information technology has long been a part of our lives. As systems offer greater performance, more and more data can be transmitted in less time. The end of this trend does not seem to be on the horizon and, understandably, it is also related to a negative consequence of the digital transformation : energy consumption has accelerated at a frenetic pace in recent years.

The so-called Green IT or Green Computing attempts to compensate for the negative aspect of this development: the term groups all strategies that take advantage of technological progress in favor of sustainability. In other words, Green IT is not synonymous with limiting the possibilities of software development services, but with using it in a way that protects natural resources.

What is Green IT?

Green IT strategies began to be developed in the 1990s. In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the EnergyStar program, with whose label energy-efficient electronic devices were distinguished, thus initiating a process of awareness. . The idea, however, did not catch on with the general public until the 2000s, when the consumption of energy resources increased drastically with the spread of the use of the Internet and personal computers.

Green IT: a key issue for society

Climate change, its increasing presence in the media and the resulting social reaction, as well as, especially in recent months, the Fridays for Future movement, have achieved the objective of A sustainable economy reaching politics and the general population. The need to reduce resource consumption worldwide so that future generations can live on this planet has ceased to be questioned. Consequently, since information technology is one of the most energy-consuming technologies, it becomes the focus of many efforts in this regard.

Internet use could consume 20% of global electricity production in 2030. The use of electronic devices thus becomes part of the environmental spotlight, especially taking into account the small proportion that renewable energies represent in current energy production.

Information technology is responsible for 2% to 3% of carbon dioxide emissions, which are the main cause of climate change. A 2019 study by the think tank The Shift Project, called Lean ICT – Towards digital sobriety , predicts, based on current values, that emissions from the digital economy could represent 8% of all CO 2 emissions in 2025. If so, the custom software development company would be harming the environment more than cars and motorcycles.

Taking into account that digitalization continues to advance at high speed, there is a high probability that the emissions it causes will grow at the same rate. To prevent this increase from occurring to the serious detriment of the planet, companies and consumers must use applications and electronic devices that are produced and work in the most efficient way possible, both in terms of energy and raw materials.

What objectives are intended to be achieved with Green IT?

There are numerous alternatives to make the production, use and waste management of digital devices more efficient . Both producers and consumers can contribute to the implementation of all aspects covered by Green IT, including, among others, the following objectives:

Reduction of resource and energy consumption in hardware production

Production in decent and fair working conditions

Extending hardware life

Software development that consumes fewer resources in the process

Reduction of energy consumption in the use of IT

Energy-saving forms of recycling and waste management

Avoid unnecessary printing on paper

Using digital solutions to reduce emissions from other products

Measures to apply Green IT in the company

For companies, moving to Green IT can provide a competitive advantage . With the constant increase in the price of fuel and energy, the costs of production and use of hardware and software also increase, so that many business sectors are interested precisely in computer systems that use resources in a sustainable way. This type of custom software development services also promotes economic growth and secures jobs.

The company can take advantage of its efforts through green marketing , thus letting customers and business partners know that it has committed to sustainability and improving the company's image to the public .

However, many companies lack the right strategic approach to implementing Green IT technologies. To stay on track, the different measures must be directed and coordinated by a specific person in charge, since the concept of Green IT can be put into practice in countless ways.

Environmentally friendly hardware

The purchasing manager is usually the one who decides what hardware should be used in the company, so he or she should receive specific guidelines to give preference to brands that are already certified sustainable. Hardware that lasts longer will also be more sustainable.

Cloud storage

Storing data in certified cloud computing centers consumes many fewer resources than doing so on the company's own internal servers. Cloud storage also offers advantages over internal servers in many areas.

Modern computer systems

Although storage in external computing centers is not always suitable for all areas of the company, resources can be saved through virtualization and centralization of computing services. This simplification and modernization of company systems is what makes Green Computing possible.

Work outside the office

If employees can take their laptops home and work from there , or even participate in video conference meetings, it won't make more sustainable use of the technology itself, but the company will do the environment a favor by avoiding commuting.

Paper-free office

In daily business life, one of the easiest options to use technology for sustainability is to avoid paper printing. Consistently moving to paperless digital management is also a way to save costs on printers, cartridges and paper.

Devices in standby mode

The standby mode, which is activated by default in many devices, is key to saving energy on a daily basis. Employees should also be able to easily turn off devices before going home, an action that also makes a difference in terms of energy savings.

Post-life hardware management

Computers, printers and cartridges that are no longer used should be taken to collection centers that manage this type of waste and make it possible for materials and parts to be reused.

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