Lucie Rybičková Javorská

The Digital Dilemma: IT’s Environmental Impact

With the digital universe expanding rapidly, over 4 billion active internet users are part of a network whose environmental impact is becoming increasingly apparent. Smart devices, internet infrastructure, and the systems that support them are responsible for approximately 3.7% of greenhouse gas emissions and this figure is projected to double by 2025. This stark reality calls for immediate action towards sustainable IT practices.

Eco-Friendly IT Strategies: What Steps Can We Take?

1. Energy Management and Reduced Carbon Footprint

Data centres and server farms consume huge amounts of energy, leading to extremely high carbon emissions. Increasing their energy efficiency is therefore pivotal in the Green IT strategy. This can be achieved, for example, by introducing advanced cooling technologies and the use of renewable energy sources. 

2. Combating Electronic Waste

The rapid turnover of electronic devices is generating large amounts of waste. To counter this, Green IT emphasizes recycling, developing more durable products, and embracing devices with modular designs that are easier to repair and upgrade, thus reducing e-waste.

3. Software Optimisation for Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient software development is another critical area. Employing advanced algorithms and streamlined coding techniques can substantially lower the energy required by software.

4. Incorporating Green IT Practices in Business

An increasing number of companies are recognising the importance of Green IT and implementing eco-friendly operational practices. Paperless offices,energy-saving devices and encouraging remote work are some ways to reduce the environmental impact of day-to-day business activities.

Vision, Challenges, and the Way Forward

Implementing Green IT comes with its set of challenges. These include: high initial costs, technological barriers and a general lack of consumer awareness. However, the growing interest in eco-friendly IT practices highlights them as essential to building a sustainable future.

Business-Environment Synergy

Adopting Green IT approaches such as energy-efficient hardware, recyclable materials and eco-friendly operating practices offers dual benefits. They not only aid the environment but also enhance business efficiency. These practices enable organisations to ensure regulatory compliance, cut operating costs and elevate their corporate reputation, effectively merging ecological responsibility with business success.

Impact Through Design

A prime example is website design optimization. Simply creating more user-friendly websites that make finding the desired content easier can significantly reduce unnecessary data traffic and its associated environmental impact.

The Role of Innovations

Sustainable IT is not just about the present, but also the future. Technological advancements such as energy-efficient data centres and smart grids will play a crucial role in shaping a more sustainable future, in which IT managers, professionals, and all technology users must play an active role.

vshosting: A Case Study in Sustainability

Vshosting stands as a testament to sustainable IT practice. We thought about sustainability and the environment from the outset. Our data centre was designed for maximum efficiency and we continue to invest heavily in renewable energy sources to reduce our ecological footprint. 

Running modern hardware along with optimizing ventilation and cooling, has led to further energy consumption reductions. 

Alongside efficient waste management, waste reduction and recycling programs, these initiatives have earned our data centre green energy certification since 2022.

Conclusion: Green IT – A Responsibility and Opportunity

Green IT is not merely a trend; it’s a responsibility and an opportunity for today’s businesses. By adopting eco-friendly hardware, promoting recyclable materials, and implementing environmentally conscious practices, companies can reduce costs, and enhance their corporate reputation. More importantly, they contribute to a sustainable future, where technology and ecology exist in harmony.

Lucie Rybičková Javorská

Businesses have relied on the cloud to drive innovation for nearly two decades, with public cloud being hailed as the transformative force empowering companies to unlock new opportunities via global infrastructures, scalability and software-defined solutions. But with the technology evolving at breakneck speed and as consumption patterns change, evaluating your cloud strategy is essential to future-proof your business as market conditions shift. 

Just like how we check in on our business goals to gauge progress, it is equally important to regularly review our cloud strategy. If you’re embarking on a cloud reassessment journey, here are considerations you should keep in mind:

Configuring for improved performance 

Cloud infrastructure is not static and requires regular finetuning to keep applications running and to prevent outages. Determining where and how the workload runs is crucial in this step. Typically, workloads considered to be more demanding may struggle in the public cloud, while others may need to rely on high-performance networks to work well. Applications that rely on low latency or are unsuitable for distributed computing infrastructures are often best suited for on-prem environments. 

These are general guidance on how best to distribute your workload for enhanced performance. A deeper assessment can help pinpoint other existing performance bottlenecks, such as overutilised resources or inefficient configurations. 

How emerging technologies will influence cloud workload

Technologies, along with business’s needs, are constantly evolving and cloud providers are striving to keep pace. New technologies like serverless computing, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) bring with them opportunities for business efficiencies and performance improvements. But integrating these into the mix introduces unique sets of requirements, which can have varying demands on cloud workloads. 

Managing spiraling costs 

Cloud computing remains a key part of the IT modernisation strategy. But the cost of cloud services is no longer falling at the rate that it was years ago, where hyperscalers operated on margins below on-prem services. Major cloud service providers including IBM Cloud, Salesforce and ServiceNow for instance, have announced price hikes to reflect this trend. The emergence of new technologies (mentioned above) has also added complexities to cloud pricing, with the costs of running these models often passed onto end users and customers at a premium.

Given the potential of cloud spending to spiral if left unchecked, cost optimisation is fundamental to cloud management. Regular reviews of cloud costs can help identify savings opportunities, and some workloads can stand to benefit from reevaluating infrastructure needs.

Data privacy and compliance

Cost and performance considerations aside, a business may choose to maintain certain workloads on-prem due to stringent data privacy and compliance requirements. End users typically lack visibility into the underlying hardware and the infrastructure hosting these workloads and data. This poses clear challenges for businesses obligated to meet data security and other regulatory requirements, such as clear auditing or data residency proof.

This would be especially prevalent in industries such as healthcare or finance, where handling sensitive customer data is subject to strict regulatory mandates. Therefore, compliance with regulations such as GDPR, PCI DSS, and SOC 2 is essential for protecting sensitive data, and frequent reviews are required to ensure cloud deployments are still compliant overtime.

So, should you move back on-prem? 

In assessing options, businesses may find themselves considering the option of moving back certain workloads or resources on-prem. 

On the upside, operating on-prem gives businesses full infrastructural control and access to all log files, the ability to troubleshoot, correct and audit all activity within the data centre. This level of control lets businesses take proactive steps to protect the environment and address issues promptly, which would be perfect in an ideal world. 

But this decision would still warrant careful consideration given the scale of the reverse migration, and implications across the business. In the same vein, we also understand business’ concerns around the cloud providers’ ability to meet specific uptime and resilience expectations, which can have severe repercussions in the event of, say, an outage.

Meeting in the middle with multi or hybrid cloud strategies

Each operational approach comes with its own advantages and drawbacks. And with that in mind, keeping workloads distributed across multiple cloud providers and environments may still be the best way forward, for now. Organisations have for years embraced a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy, leveraging the strengths of different environments to flexibly run workloads and manage data where it makes the most sense for them. 

At the end of the day, it is not about favouring one environment over the other, but rather rationalising your usage, and continuously refining your consumption. It is about deploying each workload responsibly, with return on investment (ROI) in mind, ensuring that resources are ultimately utilised most effectively. 

If you’d like to speak to an expert about reviewing your cloud strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our friendly vshosting experts. 

Lucie Rybičková Javorská

Several reasons are driving companies to move away from cloud services. One primary reason is cost. While migrating to the cloud can save money initially, it can become more expensive as a company grows, especially regarding data transfer. Another reason is performance. Some applications require lower latency, more readily achievable with local servers. Moreover, concerns about data security, privacy, and adhering to industry regulations are prompting more companies to manage their data and applications in-house.

The Role of Managed Service Providers

Managed Service Providers (MSPs), particularly those with their own data centres, are vital in facilitating cloud repatriation. They don’t just provide technical know-how but also the infrastructure necessary for a successful move. By collaborating with MSPs, companies can enjoy a controlled and secure environment akin to a private cloud. This customised setting offers better flexibility, scalability, and security.

Benefits and Challenges

Reverting to local infrastructure brings advantages such as enhanced control over costs and tailored performance for specific applications. It also aids in meeting stringent regulatory requirements and gives companies greater command over their IT resources. However, the transition is not without its complexities. It requires thoughtful planning and testing and might be time-consuming and resource-intensive, potentially leading to operational disruptions. Moreover, a long-term IT strategy is essential for this change.

Planning for Success

Before committing to cloud repatriation, companies should thoroughly analyse whether this move supports their long-term objectives. Careful planning and extensive testing are crucial to minimise disruptions. The local infrastructure must be prepared to support future expansion and comply with all security and compliance regulations.

Cloud repatriation can be a beneficial strategy for companies aiming to optimise their IT infrastructure. With proper preparation and implementation, it can enhance performance, control costs, and increase security. If you’re considering cloud repatriation for your company, contact us for tailored advice. Let’s work together to create an IT environment that is secure, high-performing, and cost-efficient.

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