OpenText Report: IT at Forefront of Sustainability Efforts

OpenText reveals companies are embracing sustainability in IT, but are in the early stages - with proper tools and expertise still a barrier

IT departments are playing a major role in achieving corporate sustainability objectives, but are currently lacking inovative tools and expertise to meet those goals, according to a newly-revealed report commissioned by information management company OpenText.

The company’s latest State of IT Sustainability Report, which was conducted by Dimensional Research, found that 97% of companies have adopted or plan to adopt sustainability initiatives.

“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,” comments Muhi Majzoub, Chief Product Officer at 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.”  

Technology industry playing a key role in global sustainability initiatives

The technology industry will play a key role in achieving global ESG goals, reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. IT accounts for around 3% of global CO2 emissions – more than Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal combined. This footprint is growing due to rising demand for computing power and data storage, as well as the production and disposal of electronic devices.

With it being more important than ever for organisations to consider the impact of IT, Sustainability LIVE Net Zero – held in London from 6-7 March 2024 – will offer an unparalleled opportunity to engage with and learn from the leading sustainability executives in the largest companies.

Implementing IT sustainability initiatives can bring several obvious benefits to enterprise organisations 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 business benefits of IT sustainability, it is not without its challenges. OpenText’s report highlighted challenges and weak areas for sustainability. The biggest among them was obtaining the proper tools to implement these initiatives. Only 51% of respondents 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% of respondents, underscoring the need for education and skill development in sustainable IT practices.

Technologies like AI to usher in a new, sustainable age

In 2024 and beyond, the integration of advanced tools like AI has the potential to revolutionise IT sustainability initiatives, ushering in a new era of efficiency and environmental responsibility. AI-powered algorithms will enable real-time optimisation of energy usage in data centres and cloud computing environments, drastically reducing carbon emissions and energy costs. Predictive analytics will facilitate proactive maintenance of IT infrastructure, minimising downtime and conserving resources. Additionally, AI-driven supply chain optimisation will streamline operations, reducing waste and environmental impact throughout the product life cycle. 

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. 

Generative AI (Gen AI) can help large enterprises transform common and complex business practices to create significant value for their businesses. Recently launching opentext.ai, its OpenText Aviator platform leverages Gen AI capabilities that leverage large language models (LLMs) and private data sets to solve specific use cases. Last year OpenText announced it had expanded its partnership with Google Cloud, aimed at delivering AI-led innovations and creating market-changing technology for organisations of all sizes.

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