In the competitive business environment companies are constantly looking to expand and improve, so as to attract new customers. Business are striving to become ‘greener’ and better for the environment everyday. This relatively new phenomenon was been proven to attract customers to these ‘green’ businesses as they feel they are helping the environment by supporting them.
How can this be applied to Information Systems however? We can clearly see that data centers and computer networks can account for an very large percentage of many companies’ total energy consumption. There are several steps a company can take to cut this now and make its information system more environmentally friendly. This could save the company money and energy, and allow them to report that they have cut their overall carbon footprint and are doing their bit to preserve the environment.
- The company can audit current IT systems and improve power management. This could involve simply shutting down a system when before it would be left on standby. The company should check if its systems are being over cooled, or over heated. It should examine whether the system is being utilized to its full potential.
- If upgrading systems it should make sure any old hardware is properly recycled. Or perhaps be used else ware.
- Make sure upgrades are strictly necessary. Systems may not have to be continuously updated. There is a large problem with old or obsolete technology filling up landfills, so make sure the upgrade is vital before upgrading,
- Buy energy efficient hardware. Might be more expensive in the long run but will save on energy costs.
- Virtualize your operations and cut costs dramatically. There are different technologies that allow you to do this, like VMWare, Parallels, and Citrix which may allow you to cut down on the number of servers used.
- Shut down the systems at night. Also see if you can run the system on power saving mode while using it.
There are both easy and more complicated methods of making your information system more environmentally friendly as outlined above, but it is very do able and has several benefits for a business.