How to Make Digital Workspaces More Sustainable
I recently attended FintechCIO London, a technical forum for IT leaders in banking, financial services, and insurance, designed to foster discussion and collaboration through thought-leading exchanges and to examine directions from within the office of the CIO.
The primary discussion this year focused on meeting carbon footprint goals considering the mandatory climate disclosures the UK government enshrined into law this year for the country’s largest companies.
The UK Cabinet Office also published a policy note in June entitled, “Taking account of carbon reduction plans in the procurement of major government contracts,” which directs companies to require potential suppliers provide a Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) to confirm their “commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 in the UK” by showing what environmental management measures they have in place.
Challenges CIOs and CTOs face in delivering a sustainable IT infrastructure
Chief among the key challenges is the end-user computing (EUC) piece of this dilemma. The University of Warwick, Computer and Urban Science Department stated that EUC contributes directly and indirectly to 2.5% of global emissions.
The traditional way to curb excessive power consumption relied on system configuration options that minimize overall usage, such as lowering the screen brightness; putting devices to sleep; spinning down hard drives; throttling CPU initiate hibernation policies, and so on. A typical EUC device will use around 1100KWh of energy, and it also takes thirteen different materials to manufacture a laptop, many of which are rare earth metals like Palladium and Beryllium.
Impact of migrating to the cloud
As organizations accelerate the migration from on-premises to cloud based digital workspaces, traditional settings fall by the wayside. The carbon footprint now extends to datacenters. According to a 2020 study by the journal Science, datacenters account for roughly 1% of global energy use.
Many companies are now moving from fat clients to thin clients. CIOs point to hybrid and off-premises cloud migration as an essential component to their sustainability efforts and optimization of existing datacenters. One might think moving on-premises datacenter infrastructure to the cloud is just a way of offloading the problem to someone else without fixing anything
According to a report this year by 451 Research, running business applications in the cloud instead of on-premises results in an average energy savings of 80%. Microsoft set a target for its Azure datacenters to use 100% reusable energy by 2025.
Login Enterprise as a potential solution
There are other ways to redress the sustainability problems facing EUC. To really hit those carbon targets organization might also benefit from a more formal optimization strategy. The best way to reduce the carbon footprint is to use less resources.
Yet many organizations overspend on the digital workspace infrastructures, including storage, instances, and bandwidth, because they have no definitive way to determine limits against overall performance. In my experience, most companies implement carbon reduction plans fail to meet targets. These failures are due in large part to their “finger in the air sizing” approach rather than utilizing hard data to ensure accuracy.
Employing the Login Enterprise Platform, a digital workspace reliability solution with a patented approach to benchmarking VDI and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) environments, can help you accurately size your endpoints and infrastructure requirements.
Login Enterprise can help IT better plan and manage ongoing operational expenses by helping determine the right solution for your organization at all life cycle stages – before, during, and after migration.