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The three pillars of digital sustainability

Image: Adobe Stock / narawit

Roman Reznikov, Vice President at Intellias, explains how transforming tech into eco-friendly powerhouses can enhance digital sustainability.

In the world of non-stop innovation, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in how technology impacts us and the environment. Though the lines between digital and sustainable are blurred, we are shaping a new normal – a world where technology not only helps us but protects us, nurturing a sustainable balance between our digital progress and the well-being of our planet.

Yet, as our dependence on digital solutions intensifies, we spot a striking reality: our technological progress carries an environmental cost that cannot be overlooked anymore. The energy that is essential to power the server farms keeps growing, multiplying the carbon footprint. It becomes apparent that we have to manage digital solutions in such a way that they are sustainable and kind to the Earth.

As businesses grow to be essential in contributing to a greener future, management teams are expected to lead their organisations holistically, mitigating environmental impact while executing growth strategies. Businesses need to arm themselves with basic technological strategies to reduce their carbon footprint.

Graviton processors and sustainable cloud computing

In the quest for greener cloud computing solutions, Graviton processors have emerged as a convincing game-changer. Engineered by Amazon Web Services, these processors are designed with energy efficiency at their heart. Graviton processors offer 60% energy saving compared to classical x86 processors. This considerable decrease in energy consumption translates into smaller operational costs, which is a compelling financial case for managers to consider as part of their sustainability strategy.

Adopting Graviton processors in data centres will mark a huge step towards mitigating the tech industry’s environmental impact. If data centres continue to rely on old energy-intensive processors, the environmental cost will be enormous. The transition to energy-efficient alternatives like Graviton processors is not just worthwhile; it’s imperative.
However, the path to a more sustainable future doesn’t stop at hardware solutions. We can extract even greater efficiencies by reconsidering our software architectures. This is where serverless computing enters the stage, promising a fresh perspective on resource utilisation and energy efficiency.

The sustainability of serverless and edge computing

Classic cloud computing requires running servers all the time, even when idle, resulting in wasteful energy consumption. With serverless computing, this problem will be solved. Serverless computing operates on an as-needed basis, automatically scaling up and down in response to demand. Instead of having servers continually running (and using energy), they are only active when they need to process data. As a result, serverless computing is naturally more energy-effective, considerably decreasing the overall energy consumption and subsequently the carbon emissions.

But we can optimise the energy consumption even further. Edge computing offers another pathway to sustainable cloud computing. A study by the AIOTI Carbon Footprint Methodology Report found that edge computing can decrease CO2 emissions by up to 90%. Instead of transmitting data over long distances to centralized servers, edge computing enables local data processing. This helps save energy and, in turn, lowers the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced.

The combined approach of using serverless architectures with edge computing is not just a trend — it’s an essential step businesses together with governments have to adopt if we plan to transform our digital world into a greener one. They allow us to design systems that are not only powerful and high-performing but also responsible and respectful to our planet.

The managerial Cision for a sustainable digital future

The convergence of technologies like Graviton processors, serverless and edge computing reflects a remarkable potential of digital to drive economic growth while safeguarding our planet.

Each of these technologies independently provides powerful energy savings and performance improvements. Still, when combined, they create an impressive toolset for businesses striving to minimise their environmental footprint.

However, technology is just an instrument, while it’s managerial vision and business acumen that integrate these solutions into real-world practices. In the journey towards reducing environmental impact, businesses do not have to navigate the path alone. Partnering with organisations that have honed expertise in sustainable software practices can make all the difference. Drawing upon tailored solutions that harmonise innovation with sustainability, businesses can unleash the potential of energy-efficient processors, serverless, and edge computing. This not only streamlines operations but also carves out a significant dent in their greenhouse gas emissions.

In conclusion, achieving sustainability in our digital world is no longer a faraway dream but a tangible reality within our grasp. It’s an invitation, an opportunity, for managers to lead by example and shape a future where business success and environmental stewardship go hand in hand. After all, in the quest for a greener planet, every step counts, and the time to act is now.

Roman Reznikov
Roman Reznikov
Vice President at Intellias

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