IT modernization with a sustainability edge
As enterprises accelerate IT modernization to accelerate digital transformation and gain business advantage, there is an opportunity to revamp a greener IT environment and application portfolio that will reduce costs and contribute to broader IT goals. corporate sustainability.
Across industries, businesses are modernizing their IT infrastructure and using digital tools to increase organizational flexibility, agility and resilience in their efforts to stay ahead of the competition. Through cloud migration and application modernization, companies are creating new customer experiences and services to drive revenue growth while reimagining business processes to optimize operations, reduce costs and enable new ways of work. IDC data shows that 71% of organizations consider application modernization a top priority today, and that proportion will rise to 84% over the next three years.[BRC1] .
Additionally, many are moving beyond application modernization as a one-time initiative and making it an ongoing part of their ongoing IT operations.
As companies move forward in their modernization journey, it is important to factor green IT considerations into the roadmap, given the impact choices can have on overall IT goals. corporate sustainability. “As businesses and enterprises grow horizontally or vertically, they expand their IT assets, whether through the cloud or private data centers,” notes Nalini Manuru, business development manager.[BRC2] at IBM. “As the backbone of expansion, IT has a huge impact on energy consumption, so taking that into account and making it more carbon efficient is essential for the good of the planet, for meet current and future regulatory requirements, as well as cost benefits.”
In fact, data centers and owned IT equipment are a major source of energy consumption and carbon emissions for businesses. According to the International Energy Agency, global data centers collectively consume 200 to 250 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, which represents 1% of all global electricity demand and approximately 0.3% of all global carbon emissions.
By comparison, a modernization strategy that moves workloads from on-premises data centers to the cloud can reduce energy consumption and associated carbon emissions by nearly 80% and is up to five times more efficient than ‘a typical on-premises data center, has 451 Research/ Report AWS found. This is partly because companies tend to use underutilized or inactive servers. The Uptime Institute estimates that approximately 20% of enterprise servers are unused or abandoned due to insufficient infrastructure monitoring and the absence of a rigorous decommissioning process. There are also opportunities to improve application code and architecture after a lift-and-shift migration to public hyperscaler platforms like AWS.
AWS cloud infrastructure, in particular, has significant energy efficiency benefits. An AWS/451 research report shows that AWS public cloud infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the average US enterprise data center, primarily due to more energy-efficient servers and usage servers, more efficient data center facilities and cooling, and reduced power consumption. and the use of renewable energies.
“Reducing IT operating costs and reducing carbon emissions is a complex factor today and it should not be a separate exercise from IT modernization,” says Diptiman Dasgupta, Associate Partner and Executive IT Architect – Development sustainability, for IBM Consulting. “It’s more effective to make carbon reduction goals and green IT a non-functional design dimension similar to security or reliability. »
A framework for success
At the heart of the IBM/AWS partnership is a sustainable application modernization model and a full lifecycle approach to carbon accounting. At the core of the partner strategy are the following capabilities:
Carbon accounting and valuation: The AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool provides easy-to-understand data visualizations and reports of emissions from using AWS, providing companies with a baseline accounting of their greenhouse gas emissions. The tool identifies carbon hotspots and analyzes emissions changes over time as workloads are migrated and applications are redesigned. It can also help plan for the future by predicting how emissions will evolve as AWS continues its mission to power operations with 100% renewable energy sources.
Green IT transformation: IBM experts work with organizations to determine the best opportunities for modernization while creating a roadmap and target application architecture that will deliver sustainability benefits throughout the lifecycle. More than a simple “pull and replace” approach, IBM’s application modernization strategy begins with gaining a solid understanding of business needs and the existing application landscape.
IBM experts use manual and automated tools to streamline existing systems to gain a detailed understanding of the landscape and operations, including the precise number and function of applications as well as interdependencies. Companies are guided through the process of selecting the most timely business outcomes, creating an implementation roadmap, designing a target architecture, identifying and measuring goals and outcomes sustainability, and aligning employee skills and business operating models to meet new demands.
Green IT Operations: Using tools such as the AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool, IBM and AWS provide ongoing monitoring and measurement of sustainability KPIs, ensuring organizations have complete visibility into their progress. Additionally, partners provide ongoing what-if analysis to monitor potential carbon and cost savings from application optimization options, ensuring sustainability becomes an ongoing benchmark for IT operations success.
The AWS cloud platform itself has inherent sustainability benefits for IT and application modernization. Sustainability is one of the six pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, meaning there are core design principles, operational guidance, best practices, and suggested improvement plans to help organizations achieve sustainability goals for their AWS workloads. AWS also offers a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics capabilities to help organizations achieve their sustainability goals.
“Modernizing applications on AWS increases the benefits of sustainability because AWS is inherently a sustainable platform,” Manuru says.
For more information on the IBM/AWS modernization and sustainability partnership, visit https://www.ibm.com/consulting/aws
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