Searching for technology-driven methods to decrease organizational costs, while improving productivity and social responsibility, can sometimes feel like an unending search for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Needless to say, an organization cannot simply rely on the luck of the Irish to generate these profits. Instead, business leaders should consider implementing a series of green IT initiatives, providing their organization with a long-term foundation to achieve sustainable results.
While there are various approaches an organization can take to accomplish this goal, this post will focus exclusively on developing an IT plan around three core concepts: upgrading hardware, optimizing settings, and virtualization.
Upgrade? I Thought You Said I’d Be Cutting Costs.
While, yes, the initial cost of upgrading technology can sometimes seem unappealing, doing so not only reduces costs, it can also increase productivity.
For example, due to technological advancements, new servers deliver more performance than those found on the marketplace just five years ago. As a result, they have a much easier time running multiple applications simultaneously, whilst outputting significantly less heat. From a technical standpoint, not only does this help alleviate workflow conflicts between users, it also requires you to spend far less to ensure servers are kept cool.
A smaller, yet equally important, piece of hardware to consider replacing is the device you may be staring at right now, your desktop monitor. Gone are the days of energy-guzzling cathode ray tube monitors. Now, most consumers choose between LED and LCD monitors, but don’t let the similarity in names fool you. Although both are good choices, LED monitors require less power, emit less heat, produce a better image resolution, and can potentially last an additional 20,000 more hours than LCD screens. Furthermore, LED monitors don’t contain mercury, a substance that is known to leak into the environment when improperly disposing of LCD monitors. Keep in mind, depending on the industry you work in, you may require a more specialized monitor.
On that note, it’s important to understand the positive impact of recycling your old hardware. Because a lot of this equipment contains heavy metals and rigid plastics, it can take thousands of years for these items to decompose. Alternatively, when you recycle your equipment, there’s a possibility it can be donated to a needy organization, or its parts can be scrapped for repurposing. To aid in this process, Rocket IT offers clients a recycling service, where one of our technicians will meet you on-site to assist in the disposal of your unneeded hardware.
“Setting” You up to Thrive.
Although upgrading your old equipment is the first step towards a green IT infrastructure, it’s crucial to configure this new hardware with the proper settings. For desktops and laptops, Windows makes it easy to implement a power saving mode. By customizing this setting, a user can order their computer to power down after an extended period of inactivity. As a result, the monitor and drives of the device enter “sleep mode”, significantly reducing its power consumption.
Similarly, when configuring servers, you can set power-cycles to match your workload cycles. For example, if your organization needs five servers during the day, but only two at night, you can use automation tools to schedule each server’s power-cycle.
Virtualize and Consolidate: Preparing for the Future.
While on the subject of servers, it’s important to mention a topic that has continued to trend in recent years, virtualization. For those unaware, virtualization is the process of storing multiple virtual servers (clusters) on one physical “host” server. That said, in order for this technology ecosystem to function properly, it’s crucial to ensure your host server has the correct specifications needed to handle the traffic it will inevitably receive. Therefore, Rocket IT strongly recommends you contact your organization’s IT team before partaking in such ventures.
If approved, virtualization opens an organization’s IT infrastructure up to the following opportunities:
- More office space – Since you’re using multiple virtual servers inside one physical server, the spaced needed to operate is far less than if you were to have a server for each separate application.
- Resource sharing – Because virtual server clusters are contained within a larger host server, they’re able to share resources.
- Server backups – While this is more of an advanced topic, just know that, when configured properly, certain types of clusters can assist during a server failure.
One last piece of technology we encourage you to use are cloud services. While paper documents are still necessary for confidential information, uploading documents to the cloud ensures your growth is not hindered by the size of your physical storage. Instead, cloud services scale with an organization’s growth, while making it easy to view and edits documents remotely.
I See the Benefits. Now How Do I Change?
So, while we’ve shown you how to reach that hypothetical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it’s important to remember that change starts with the individual, not the technology. Therefore, it’s up to business leaders to both implement and measure these green IT initiatives in an effective manner. By regularly monitoring your organization’s energy consumption, you can pinpoint any surges, and the devices that may be causing it.
That said, making these green IT changes does not happen overnight. Instead, it’s crucial to contact an IT service team that can make small, but continuous, changes to your IT infrastructure. During this process, Rocket IT makes it easy to upgrade and optimize new hardware, whilst providing you with a recycling service to dispose of old equipment. If interested in learning more about this service, we encourage you to contact us at 770.441.2520.
If carried out properly, taking these steps will allow an organization to deliver its products or services more efficiently, requiring less hardware, space and power. Together, we can help you achieve a healthy work environment, ensuring your organization is able to both retain and expand its teams.
Finally, in the spirit of the season, we want to leave you with an old Irish blessing.
May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night.