Sustainability and Observability: The Transition to Green IT l adservio

Today's organizations can see even the smallest changes result in the greatest benefits. If you're considering green IT, learn about the process in the latest Adservio post.

Digital Quality
10 min
Digital Quality
Sustainability and Observability: The Transition to Green IT l adservio

Today's business landscape has the opportunity to bring together IT and sustainability. Companies that want to optimize IT assets while minimizing their environmental footprints can find green IT a worthy partner. Yet, effectively measuring sustainability in IT remains challenging.

Using sustainability metrics and observability techniques can make green IT more than just the newest tech buzzword.

The significance of sustainability metrics

In the context of green IT and green computing, sustainability metrics help companies measure factors like the energy efficiency of data centers, the carbon footprint of digital operations, and the waste reduction capabilities of IT strategies.

Some of the most important sustainability metrics include:

  • Power usage effectiveness (PUE): The measure of data center energy efficiency.
  • Data throughput: The estimated volume of data that can be processed in a given time frame, adjusted for optimally balanced speed and energy consumption.
  • Resource utilization rates: How effectively and efficiently software and hardware assets are used.

The role of observability techniques

Observability isn't the same thing as monitoring. While monitoring tells you when something is wrong, observability helps you understand why it happened. In green computing, observability allows for real-time insights into your sustainability metrics, helping you proactively address matters.

Some of the best techniques for enhanced observability include:

  • Log analysis: Detailed logs help provide insights into system performance and efficiency, leading to improved sustainability.
  • Anomaly detection: Spotting anomalies in real-time can lead to identifying issues quickly so they don't impact a system's sustainability.
  • Automated alerts: Real-time notifications flag unsustainable practices as they occur.

Why is implementing green IT metrics such a challenge?

Green metrics and observability techniques are difficult for companies to master due to such issues as:

Gaps in expertise

One of the primary challenges facing companies is the specialized knowledge required to effectively implement and interpret green IT metrics and observability techniques. The process often involves a cross-disciplinary approach that marries IT expertise with a strong understanding of sustainability principles.

Not having the necessary budget

Organizations modernizing an outdated IT department have all learned the same thing: Green IT updates often have significant budgets. Don't underestimate the long-term ROI you get after investing in sustainable technologies. Unfortunately, getting stakeholders on board for that initial outlay isn't easy.

Having the wrong tools

Not every observability tool is created equal—some aren't meant for measuring sustainability. Some tools force companies to customize existing programs or develop new observability tools from scratch. This takes time and challenges a company's budget. When swift implementation is vital, the wrong tools will curb your progress and put you behind schedule.

Meeting compliance standards

Every industry has its own standards and requirements regarding sustainability. Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements while maintaining a company's own green computing and sustainability goals is a delicate balancing act.

Social and cultural challenges

As is the case with new initiatives, it's often difficult to obtain buy-in from all necessary individuals. With sustainability practices, full integration requires a change in thinking. From the average employee to the C-suite, there has to be a shared vision for long-term sustainability that addresses the benefits and drawbacks of going digitally green, proving cross-departmental agreements significantly challenging.

5 steps to a more sustainable organization

Sustainability metrics and observability techniques must work in harmony for real results. The right tools give decision-makers real-time sustainability updates while the right metrics help guide your observability efforts—all of which require an error-free rollout.

To put your organization on the road to true sustainability:

Perform a system-wide sustainability audit

First, we have to know where we currently are in relation to ongoing sustainability. Perform an audit of:

  • All aspects of your IT assets.
  • Organizational energy consumption.
  • Company-wide waste management practices.
  • Any other sustainability metrics you've identified.

This audit establishes an organization's baseline. From here, you can compare future measurements with the baseline to determine how much progress you've made.

Assemble a team of personnel from various departments

This is an important step because it's where you join departments that might not communicate with each other regularly. Think of it like assembling a team for a tug-of-war match: You want the strongest members. In addition to information technology professionals, experts in sustainability, and primary C-suite decision-makers, choose members from the marketing, sales, product/service, and customer success departments.

Choose the most appropriate sustainability metrics and observability tools

Our sustainability audit should have revealed areas that need. The newly assembled sustainability team reviews this information and suggests the metrics, tools, and techniques best suited to maintain current success and improve lagging areas. Together, choose the most relevant metrics, then distinguish—or design—the tools best suited to effectively measure your chosen metrics.

Set realistically attainable goals

Using the chosen sustainability metrics and observability tools, it's time to decide what your organization wants to attain and when. It's okay to be ambitious, but goals should also remain realistic. Shooting for a clear yet realistic target helps guide you in the right direction and identifies where updates to metrics or tools may be warranted.

Apply these changes and continue monitoring progress

Make any changes to infrastructure as necessary, such as:

  • Optimizing company servers.
  • Investing in hardware with higher energy efficiency scores.
  • Implement algorithms for reducing waste anywhere possible.

Schedule periods in which the collected data is reviewed. Evaluate which goals were met and which require improvements. Then, adjust your approach and set updated goals to track and review.

Robust observability and long-term sustainability begins here !

Your green IT initiative can only be as successful as your ability to track, measure, and adapt to your chosen metrics.

Contact Adservio to learn more about creating a 360-degree view of your efforts that helps translate your ambition into real-world impact.

Published on
December 20, 2023

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