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Global Report Finds IT at the Forefront of Sustainability Efforts, but Lacks Proper Tools and Expertise

A recent report commissioned by OpenText finds that IT departments are playing a major role in achieving corporate sustainability objectives and cited the lack of innovative tools and expertise as primary challenges they face in meeting those goals.

The 2023 State of IT Sustainability Report, conducted by Dimensional Research, found that 97 percent of companies have adopted or plan to adopt sustainability initiatives, but it is still early for adoption as only 42 percent of organizations are just beginning the journey towards environmental responsibility.

“The sustainability movement is in the early days, with IT taking the lead in most cases. However, this report’s findings also show that companies are serious about making it a high operational priority,” said Muhi Majzoub, Chief Product Officer, OpenText. “Sustainability is proving to be more than a popular social cause. There are solid business reasons pushing it: efficiency, cost savings, regulatory compliance. Because it is a ‘win-win’ scenario for all, sustainability is now a part of the decision-making process at most companies.”

Implementing IT sustainability initiatives can bring several obvious benefits to enterprise organizations whether it is in cost savings, resource efficiency, risk mitigation or regulatory compliance. However, there are other less obvious benefits such as innovation in product design, process efficiency or technology adoption that ultimately could lead to new revenue streams or market opportunities, all brought through the pursuit of sustainability.

Yet, for all the incredible business benefits of IT sustainability, it is not without its challenges. The report highlighted challenges and weak areas for sustainability. The biggest among them was obtaining the proper tools to implement these initiatives, only 51 percent reported using software to help track their IT carbon footprint, with Europe outpacing North America in the adoption of tracking software. The lack of expertise was the second biggest challenge according to 46 percent of respondents, underscoring the need for education and skill development in sustainable IT practices.

Looking ahead

In 2024 and beyond, the integration of advanced tools like artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize IT sustainability initiatives, ushering in a new era of efficiency and environmental responsibility. AI-powered algorithms will enable real-time optimization of energy usage in data center and cloud computing environments, drastically reducing carbon emissions and energy cost.

Predictive analytics will facilitate proactive maintenance of IT infrastructure, minimizing downtime and conserving resources. Additionally, AI-driven supply chain optimization will streamline operations, reducing waste and environmental impact throughout the product lifecycle. Overall, these advancements in AI technology will play a pivotal role in driving forward IT sustainability initiatives leading to a more resilient and environmentally conscious digital ecosystem in the future

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