Navigate the intersection of sustainability and technology in Singapore

Article written by Ho Chye Soon, Country Manager, Singapore, Nutanix

By understanding the significant environmental footprint of the technology industry, it is clear that the future lies at the intersection of sustainability and technology. In Singapore, as greater amounts of information are generated and organizations accumulate even more data, the demand for data centers and the energy needed to operate them will continue to grow. In fact, data centers are expected to represent 12% of the country’s total energy demand by 2030.

However, energy consumption is only part of the impact, as issues such as water consumption and e-waste generation need to be considered. Fortunately, the Singapore IT community is aware of these issues and recognizes that sustainable growth is a top priority for organizations.

In fact, Nutanix’ fifth annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) research report, released late last month, found that nearly all (95%) respondents in Singapore agreed that sustainability is more important to their organization than a year ago. This illustrates how integrating sustainable practices into technology operations has become increasingly important for businesses.

Steering technology towards sustainability

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is managing the complex and diverse technology environments in which they operate. The ECI report shows that in the Asia-Pacific region, 44% of companies have outsourced applications in the past 12 months to meet their sustainability goals, far outpacing the Americas or EMEA.

Ho Chye Soon, Singapore Country Manager, Nutanix

Thus, the establishment of sustainable business strategies including IT operations is becoming increasingly crucial for companies. As companies expand their technology infrastructure, they must find ways to manage their carbon footprint and reduce their environmental impact.

Most organizations would like a comprehensive guide to act as a compass to guide them on how best to navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of sustainability in technology. Every organization is different and requires a nuanced approach to developing and bringing such strategies to life. To make positive and impactful change, organizations need to think holistically and consider the environmental impact of technology as well as the social and economic dimensions of sustainability.

Pave an impactful sustainable development strategy

Technology sustainability requires a combination of technological innovation and strategic planning. By leveraging cutting-edge technology solutions such as hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), businesses can reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint while striving to improve efficiency and performance.

Olam, a Singapore-based food company, is a good example of what can be done. The company consolidated its data centers and increased server utilization from 20-30% to 70% by leveraging Nutanix’s HCI solution. The Nutanix solution has helped Olam achieve this goal by eliminating the need for separate storage, networking and compute systems, improving infrastructure efficiency and streamlining operations, while reducing the footprint of its data center. Additionally, Olam’s infrastructure spend has been reduced by 30% due to reduced hardware costs, power and cooling, and management time.

That said, no company can solve global ESG challenges. There needs to be a concerted effort across industries to implement real change and achieve impactful sustainability results. Technology-focused companies, for example, must work with suppliers and partners to promote responsible sourcing and reduce the environmental impact of our supply chain footprint.

Regulation is also shaping the focus on sustainability in the tech industry. Many countries are introducing regulations that force businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt more sustainable practices. In Singapore, the government has also announced initiatives to prioritize sustainability in the tech industry, such as the Green Data Center Technology Roadmap. The roadmap outlines plans to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in data centers, while promoting the use of renewable energy sources to improve industry sustainability.

At the same time, it is important to recognize that sustainability is not just an environmental issue, but also a social and economic one. The industry’s commitment to sustainability must extend beyond our operations to the communities where we operate. Beyond their processes, organizations should also consider investing in local communities, supporting sustainable development and promoting social responsibility. By investing in the well-being of our communities, we can help create a more sustainable future for all.

In conclusion, sustainability has become a necessary consideration for businesses in Singapore, and it must be integrated into all aspects of their operations. Singaporeans are also supportive, with 31% saying they are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced goods, and 36% opting for more sustainable alternatives. While integrating sustainability practices into technology operations presents significant challenges, the benefits are even greater, including cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved brand reputation. Additionally, companies that prioritize sustainability will be better equipped to meet the growing demands of consumers and regulators who are placing increasing emphasis on it.

The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and may not reflect the opinions of Tech Wire Asia.

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