Figure 2: Green IT framework
Firms must implement intelligent infrastructure encompassing resource optimization, modernization, and green transport. Specific initiatives can span space and equipment optimization, better run-time of IT resources, use of software driven networks (SDNs), hosting in nano centers, and more. In a connected world, collaborative working decreases the carbon footprint by saving on redundancy. Cloud operations, circularity tie-ups, remote work options, and green procurement are a few initiatives that can help.
Asset life cycle management is critical to greening. It is therefore imperative for banks and insurers to lay down policies for re-use, repair, and recycle of IT assets and ensure effective management across their life cycle. Holistic energy management involves preventing energy leaks, adopting green practices such as using energy only when needed, and facilitating on-demand auto scale up as required.
Software is the invisible energy consumer in IT operations. Firms must embrace green architecture spanning green coding practices, removal of dead code, process optimization, data management, compatibility, green software development life cycles (SDLC) with rationalized business requirements, shift-left approach, and automated development test cycles. Green IT initiatives must also encompass green deployment including rationalization of resources, optimization, and a shift to newer models such as containerization, serverless architectures, virtualization, and automatic deployment.
Software asset life cycle management is also an important step. Phasing out energy-consuming legacy applications and striking an effective balance between launching new, greener assets and upgrading or greening existing legacy assets is essential. Greening software will demand a proactive approach to creating future applications—an approach that embraces green principles, tools and guidance, and lays down energy budgets for building applications. Fixing the energy hotspots in business-critical legacy applications is risky and time-consuming. Where legacy applications are identified for phase out, it would be redundant to green them.
Green actions encompass accessibility and inclusion, paperless operations, and behavioral change. Ensuring inclusivity in offices and application design, going paperless by expanding the use of collaborative tools, optimizing mail traffic and reducing or eliminating document printing, and driving behavioral change by encouraging the use of green transport and green materials can bring down the carbon footprint.