While there has been a noticeable increase in interest in green IT and eco-sustainability among businesses worldwide - in fact, the majority of executives claim it has become a factor in purchasing decisions - the actions taken by many businesses
are still limited to creating a positive public perception around pollution and climate change rather than engaging in practices that will have a meaningful impact on energy consumption.
That's not to say the desire doesn't exist. It's more a case of not having the proper education or advice on how to leverage new technologies to reduce power consumption. But, that is starting to change, thanks to the rising cost of energy and the continued work of companies like Orange
, which actively promotes green strategy as a key component of its business solutions.
Inefficiency energy utilization is one of the greatest contributors to any business' carbon footprint, according to a recent article by Axel Haentjens, Vice President of Marketing, Brand, and External Communications at Orange Business Services. The article, Green IT Deepens Ties Between Orange and Enterprises
, in Alcatel-Lucent's online magazine, Enriching Communications
, discusses how Orange has been able to develop more meaningful business relationships with its customers through the promotion of Green IT, including using its own successes as a case study.
The simple fact is that businesses are not likely to invest heavily in eco-sustainability initiatives without solid evidence that it will positively impact their bottom lines. In other words, they must see a proven ROI on their green investments.
Using its own business as a proof point, Orange is able to drive green initiatives at many of its customers' organization, citing a 70% reduction in hardware infrastructure through virtualization, which has resulted in a significant energy - and cost - savings, more than 20 gigawatt hours to date.
In addition, Orange has invested in ways to lower cooling costs in data centers, again looking to reduce energy utilization, resulting in a plan to circulate fresh air from the outside rather than creating cool air inside the facility. That project is further aided by strategically placing its data centers in locations with lower ambient temperatures - the cooler the outside air, the lower the requirements for internal cooling.
Combining its own experiences and strategies with customer-specific requirements, Orange has been able to help many of its customers deploy green technology to reduce their carbon footprints and reduce power consumption, ultimately resulting in cost savings as well as reducing the impact on the environment. By being able to prove out the cost benefits of eco-sustainable technology
, its customers are able to justify the up-front costs associated with deploying new infrastructure - the success of an eco-sustainability program is directly tied to the bottom line.
Orange, in fact, suggests that the IT and telecom industries can help enterprises lower global carbon emissions by as much as 20 percent by leveraging more efficient technologies from vendors with experience in this field, such as Alcatel-Lucent
, which has leveraged its Bell Labs facilities to develop a number of new energy efficient products in use today, with many more to come.
Orange also realizes the benefits of green IT go beyond merely infrastructure, and can be leveraged to drive operational efficiencies while enjoying the green benefits at the same time. For instance, logistics companies can leverage the latest M2M solutions for more effective fleet management, resulting in time savings and lower energy and fuel consumption. Businesses can leverage mobility solutions to reduce commuting to and from work, again lowering the environmental impact
of travel while increasing productivity and morale. High-bandwidth networking is already being used in many medical facilities to enable tele-health, enabling better patient care while reducing travel costs for staff and patients. And the cost and productivity benefits of conferencing solutions have long been touted as an effective means of increasing collaboration and reducing travel expenses.
Ultimately, there are a number of ways any business can leverage green IT to increase its business operations while reducing its environmental impact - from effective planning strategies to more efficient infrastructure to the business process enabled by IP communications. All of these are central to not only an eco-sustainability strategy today, but to the evolution to a more dynamic enterprise
about how Orange is acting in a consultative capacity to help its customers achieve greater business successes.