We’re at a precarious moment in history; inflation is surging, wages are struggling to keep up, the conflict in Ukraine is etching trepidation into our everyday lives and the climate change warning sirens boom louder each week. Escaping the clutches of discouragement and anxiety seems impossible at times, however as business leaders from across the globe made clear at this year’s Microsoft Envision conference, there is reason to be hopeful.
This year’s themes did not centre around inter-state conflicts or the fragility of our economy. Instead, they focused on how the world’s immediate and long-term future can be sheltered and futureproofed through technology and innovation.
We heard from business leaders such as Clare Barclay (CEO Microsoft UK), Tony Danker (Director General of the CBI), Judson Althoff (Microsoft Chief Commercial Officer) and Craig Bright (Chief Information Officer at Barclays), and the overarching message was a clear one: technology and innovation offer us an off-ramp from this hectic highway we’re currently weaving across.
From underwater datacentres offering low emission means of powering our digital world, to AI models monitoring the impact of green energy sources on local Puffin populations – it’s clear from these keynote speakers that the leaps in technological innovation are already driving positive change across the globe, and that this will only increase.
The emerging role that technology plays in strengthening a business’ Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) stance is fast becoming one of the most talked-about agendas of the 2020s. The more cloud services we consume, the greater the impact on the earth’s climate (datacentres use up to 1% of global electricity demand). Whilst many datacentre providers are transitioning to greener energy sources in a bid to curtail their emissions output, a leap in demand for cloud services is forcing providers to seek alternative solutions – hence Microsoft’s underwater datacentre facility (which leverages the Earth’s oceans to provide a natural cooling solution).
The key takeaway for businesses is two-fold. Organisations should seek to partner with suppliers who have adopted strong ESG positions, but importantly, we must think smarter about datacentre resource consumption. A survey conducted by Forbes found that a large portion of organisations consuming over $1 million of cloud services annually were operating between 20% & 40% CPU utilisation. This results in lots of servers running partially idle, which continue to consume an enormous amount of energy and worsen the impact on our climate (whilst adding zeros to your invoices).
Thankfully, through the advent of AI and exponential increase in software innovation, solutions exist that soften the blow. Partnering with digital suppliers who can proactively manage your data consumption for you is a steadfast way to mitigate the impact digital demand has on our planet, and your bills.
At Advanced, we recognise the opportunity and responsibility we have as a business to make a positive impact in the world. The transformative power of technology is key to creating a healthier planet, diverse and inclusive communities, access to education and a better standard of living for all. To learn how we’re working towards becoming a sustainable, equitable and inclusive organisation, click here or leave your details below to discuss how we can work with your business towards a better future.
Written by Lewis Renfrew