4 Steps for Building an IT Sustainability Strategy

In this video interview, Mat Brown, senior technical marketing engineer at Nutanix, describes the growing importance of managing carbon emissions from IT operations and outlines a four-step process for tackling the challenges.

By Jason Lopez

By Jason Lopez May 7, 2024

Concerns about environmental sustainability are mounting among CIOs and information technology professionals. Not only do they have to deal with the rapid pace of innovation and disruptions from industry mergers, but they now have to learn how to manage carbon emissions of the various technologies they use. Many are learning as they go, according to Mat Brown, a senior technical marketing engineer at Nutanix.

Enterprises aren’t just planning their sustainability programs; they are actively implementing them with their IT modernization efforts. That's what findings indicate in the 2024 Enterprise Cloud Index, a Nutanix-sponsored survey of 1,500 IT and DevOps/Platform Engineering decision-makers from around the world. 

Nearly nine out of 10 respondents said sustainability is a priority for their organization and many are already implementing sustainability initiatives. The ECI report showed that over the last year, many organizations focused on being more data-driven in terms of their approach to sustainability: 

  • 51% of organizations say they improved their ability to identify areas for reducing waste 
  • 44% indicate they improved their ability to monitor and measure greenhouse gas emissions as well as their carbon footprint

The ECI Report stated, “It is essential that organizations develop these baseline metrics to measure the improvement of sustainability initiatives over time and set realistic goals that can be achieved over time.”

In this video, Brown explains the need for building strategies for more efficient use of energy and natural resources needed to power data centers and cloud technologies. Energy crises and increasing global regulations are a wake-up call for many business leaders who now looking for standardized sustainability best practices. 

Brown outlines a four-step process for organizations to address these issues: understanding impact and business goals, identifying allies and resources, implementing measurement processes, and planning for future activity.


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Mat Brown: Increasingly, our customers are asking us about sustainability issues and about ESG. They want to know about the carbon emissions related to their IT solutions, whether they're running them in their own data center at a co-location or in public cloud. These are becoming top of mind for more and more customers all the time.

It's especially grown up over the last couple of years. What's really kicked that on has been the energy crisis that's built up in Europe especially. But then more and more regulation is coming out of the EU and in other places around the world, and that's driving these sustainability challenges for businesses everywhere.


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Eventually it's going to be have to embedded into every part of the business they do. I'd expect people will be doing sustainability training, like they do security training, and I expect that people will be reporting on their organization's and missions like they currently report on their financial practice.

Yeah, so we've kind of mapped out four steps on the road to progress, as it were for organizations. Of course, the fundamental basis for everything is a better understanding of impact, but also an understanding of what your business goals are. Who are your allies? Who can you talk to and what resources are at your disposal? From there, you can understand what you need to measure, start implementing the processes to make those measurements, and then on that basis you can then plan and transform and build a business case for future activity as well.

Jason Lopez is executive producer of Tech Barometer, the podcast outlet for The Forecast. He’s the founder of Connected Social Media. Previously, he was executive producer at PodTech and a reporter at NPR.

Ken Kaplan, editor in chief of The Forecast, contributed to this story.

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