In today's fast-paced world, where the environment is at the forefront of everyone's minds, it's no surprise that the tech industry is also stepping up to the plate. Hence, sustainable IT practices are about finding innovative ways to reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and promote eco-friendly practices throughout the entire lifecycle of IT products and services.
On the 49th Episode of Ticket Volume, our IT podcast. Mark Bradley talked about investing in renewable energy sources, optimizing data centers, and implementing green IT strategies for companies to reduce their carbon emissions and save money in the long run. He also emphasized the role of IT in both causing and solving environmental issues and highlighted the need for education, collaboration, and innovation in order to make a positive impact.
Bradley, the Senior Product Manager at Flexera, is a seasoned veteran in the IT industry with over 20 years of experience under his belt. He's seen it all, from Zurich Life Bank to JP Morgan, Motorola, and HP. But now, he's on a mission to educate us on the importance of adopting environmentally friendly measures in the tech world.
As we continue to give a platform to the topic of Sustainable IT, previously introduced by Antonina Douannes, make sure to tune in to the entire episode featuring Bradley. You might feel it's time to join him on the sustainability journey businesses need to jump into. Moreover, you can sign up for our monthly live recordings and directly ask any questions during the session.
Sustainable IT practices are imperative
Addressing sustainability is not merely a moral imperative; it is a legal and societal obligation. And the IT industry must act swiftly and decisively. For Bradly, It is imperative that we come together as a team to determine the best path forward, since our ability to incorporate sustainable practices into our operations is not only beneficial for the environment but also for the long-term success of our businesses.
"We have a critical role to play in addressing this issue. On one hand, we are the ones who have contributed to the planet's degradation through our current technology. On the other hand, we are also the ones who can fix the problem with our current technology. We find ourselves at the center of the coin, with stakeholders, including the government, urging us to take action urgently."
In Bradley’s opinion, one of the best ways we can start to implement sustainable IT practices is to urge hardware vendors to step up and provide the necessary information for calculating carbon footprints and reducing emissions.
However, he said the challenge lies in educating executives and decision-makers about the importance of sustainability. Many may not fully grasp the environmental impact of their organization's technology practices or understand how to measure and mitigate their carbon footprint. This is where the power of sustainability calculators comes into play.
These calculators serve as invaluable tools for organizations to track and measure their environmental impact in crucial areas such as electricity usage, heat generation, and displacement. In return, organizations gain a comprehensive understanding of their sustainability performance and set realistic goals for improvement.
Yet, the actual effectiveness of sustainability calculators lies in their successful communication to decision-makers. As Bradley aptly points out, engaging in one-on-one conversations with CIOs and executives is essential. Just like that memorable E-Trade commercial, where an executive seeks guidance from an IT expert to make their first trade, we must guide decision-makers through the process of using sustainability calculators and enlighten them on the significance of sustainability efforts.
Challenges in discussing sustainability with executives
Bradly was also brave enough to point out the elephant in the room: Engaging in discussions regarding sustainability with high-ranking executives can prove to be a challenging task. The reality is some executives have made significant investments in systems such as Oracle, and sustainability may not be at the forefront of their minds. Their primary focus lies in the bottom line, profitability, and the overall success of their organization.
However, it is imperative that sustainability does not take a backseat when it comes to these significant investments. It is crucial to convince them that integrating sustainable practices into their existing infrastructure is not only beneficial for the planet but also for their business. It is a win-win situation.
These discussions can only go one way since there is a growing trend of customers requesting software vendors to be ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) certified. Bradley acknowledged the value of this requirement and the potential technical challenges that may arise in implementing it. Specifically, he mentioned that technical restrictions may arise when it comes to ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes and integrations that rely on open API integrations.
"Here's more opportunities there (ITIL 4 new book) to educate, and then -I think- once we're educated and we're making the right choices (...) This is one of those topics I think all vendors should be able to cross the aisle. You know, we have amazing capabilities between all the different platforms. I feel like this should be the DMZ Zone, sustainability. How can we help each other? How do we open up our APIs so that we can help each other get through this and start to help on customers' disclosures."
Bradley knows that when discussing sustainability with executives, particularly in the context of extensive systems like ERPs, it can feel like an uphill battle. They may perceive it as excessively costly or time-consuming to implement the necessary changes and may not immediately recognize the value of incorporating sustainable practices into their current infrastructure.
Therefore, it is critical not to shy away from these challenging conversations. Seek out the ideal time and place to engage in discussions surrounding sustainability, particularly when addressing substantial investments. The key lies in finding common ground and effectively demonstrating the value of sustainable practices for both the planet and their business.
This is just a summary of Ticket Volume's episode featuring Mark Bradley. There's a lot more to discover in their conversation. Let us pave the way for a more sustainable future and demonstrate that sustainability is not just a buzzword, but a fundamental part of our collective future. Be sure to listen to the full discussion with Matt Beran to learn more about sustainable IT practices.
You can find the full episode on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or any other podcast platform you prefer. Remember to subscribe if you're interested in joining the monthly live recordings!