How IT support can make things green

0
290

As modern lives turn towards electronic management - think of the unfolding IoT that continues apace - IT support’s role is set to change. A large part of modern technology is its green consciousness: the higher the green value (or lower the overall environmental impact), the more valuable it will be for a world busy damaging its own atmosphere. This is especially true as the IoT looms, when billions of devices (all with their own energy requirements) are to be connected across the globe.

It might seem strange to think of IT support as a source of potential business greening, but its work sector pulls a lot of energy in the running of a modern company. To that end, any business five years or older can benefit from a green audit of its technology, its processes and apps, and its ownership of the (specialised) waste it generates - and IT support is the only outfit qualified to do it. Rating hardware and extrapolating daily computing into an environmental impact takes an intimate knowledge, at least when pursuing an improvement of green processes.

Specialised green auditing concerns are often good at pinpointing a company’s overall carbon footprint, but it takes IT acumen to shave consumption off devices, networking, and protocols. Another huge contributor towards the push-button paradise of the IoT is comfort. Human comfort, to be precise. Thus do green living and office ergonomics become the domain of IT support, or at least lean heavily into their mandate.

IT support can shrink a carbon footprint

There are several huge contributors to IT’s ability to keep greening business, almost unfair advantages other aspects of business lack. For one, cloud computing has enabled the wholesale elimination of numerous hot, energy-hungry server rooms than ever thought possible. Of course, the server runs somewhere, but allowing dedicated cloud companies to handle that aspect of business results in a diminishing of individual companies’ energy demands, and overall demand within a local ecosystem.

From its beginnings as a risqué and novel idea, outfits like EC-MSP IT support now deal with cloud computing makeovers as a regular, standard item as more businesses transition to the cloud. Cloud computing is a logical ability of IT and makes companies less hardware-intense, while their energy bill dips accordingly.

When it comes to the remaining hardware needed to enable business, it’s again the tech geeks who are best poised to design the greenest solutions possible for a company. As tech improves, a minimalism unlike that available to any other aspect of business is enabled. With such rapid advances in the mechanics of IT over short bursts of time, IT support can reinstall lean, fit assemblies of hardware and systems, an upgrade that other business arenas seldom experience so copiously.

Another component of the IT universe that enables green considerations is that fully remote work is possible through a variety of apps. It would be great if we could park our cars and allow our mechanic to fix something remotely while we enjoy a coffee, but that’s fantastical. Not so in the IT universe; remote resolution of system or device failures are commonplace, meaning less people traveling, lower energy consumption, and higher productivity. Remote service and remote (cloud) computing are massive enablers of green IT.

What has IT support got to do with the garden?

The old way of thinking about the world needs to change. After all, the IoT is a thread that will weave its way through every aspect of an individual’s life. Houses, cars, offices, pets and gardens will all come to have an electronic management component. What temperature a home remains at to keep house pets comfy, or how many millilitres of water each irrigation sprinkler is depositing outside in the garden might seem to have nothing to do with traditional IT, but on a connected planet, everything that connects can be evaluated for its energy consumption and other relevant performance impacts.

IT support has a vast sea of diverse applications waiting for analysis and improvement, as we lean increasingly more on technological solutions to life. If it’s electronic, it’s going to fall within IT support’s mandate. The most obvious green analysis might centre on office computing hardware, lighting, and overall building energy consumption. As the IoT experiences the kind of rapid scaling and constant improvement of technology typical of IT, however, tech support will need to wear a plumber’s, landscaper’s and even architect’s hat more frequently. 

If constantly improving (and shrinking) components, fully remote support and cloud computing aren’t enough to inspire other sectors to envy, AI should clinch it. Not only are the ways in which people work changing, along with the hardware they employ (and associated data management), AI is suffusing the world with its own dazzling potential to eliminate consumptive behaviours. Whole categories of effort are falling away - not great for rank employment per se, perhaps, but the improvement in green management as a whole is set to take a serious upturn.

A green analysis by IT support goes straight to the bottom line

Logical points of departure for expanding IT’s role in green living include a hardware analysis - what components of infrastructure account for how much energy consumption - and subsequent streamlining, data management possibilities in the cloud, remote functionality that often leads to higher productivity, as well as what broad options are available to eliminate in-house tech.

Piggybacking on free professional platforms that enable video conferencing and the like is also a huge aid to eliminating ‘owned’ tech, making a business better able to focus on its core functions while keeping costs down and people connected. Recycling (especially of tech waste) is another arena where IT support can make good decisions, and if it comes to it, carbon trading platforms are also IT enabled.

Taken as a whole, the days of a support techie popping into an office to sort the printer or sitting in the server room rebooting things might not be over, but they’re competing with far loftier abilities now. IT support has a mine of knowledge when it comes to streamlining processes, employing more cost-effective solutions, or simply making people more productive. Smart businesses looking ahead will be at that coalface, leaning on that acumen, as IT support’s mandate grows exponentially over the coming decade.