There has been growing interest in Green IT and the greening of the IT industry over the past few years. To understand more about Green IT, we have the privilege of interviewing Mr Simon Hum, Program Director, Adaptive Infrastructure, Technology Solutions Group for HP Asia Pacific and Japan.
About Hewlett-Packard Asia Pacific
HP, the world’s largest technology company that operates in more than 170 countries around the world provides printing and personal computing products and IT services, software and solutions that simplify the technology experience for consumers and businesses. We explore how technology and services can help people and companies address their problems and challenges, and realize their possibilities, aspirations and dreams. We apply new thinking and ideas to create more simple, valuable and trusted experiences with technology, continuously improving the way our customers live and work.
1. Please describe Green IT.
Today, IT organizations face a number of challenges: to support business growth and new initiatives, to integrate acquired businesses quickly and to roll out new products and services rapidly – while at the same time reducing environmental impact.
Strategically, IT organizations are called on to help businesses exploit technology for business and competitive advantage. Fiscally, they’re continuously challenged to reduce costs even as businesses grow and energy costs spiral upward.
HP, which built decades of innovation and leadership in enterprise “green” technology, has assembled the most complete portfolio for creating an environmentally sound technology infrastructure where business opportunities outweigh the cost.
HP’s Green Business Technology Initiative helps customers to address Green IT needs through energy-efficient solutions for the data center and beyond – where better business outcomes equal better environmental outcomes.
Customers can meet their most demanding technology challenges while at the same time, reducing environmental impact. With the use of energy efficient solutions, companies can accelerate business growth; reduce costs and risk – while at the same time minimizing the environmental impact of the technology infrastructure.
2. Do you see more companies in the Asia Pacific region adopting Green IT? What are the factors affecting the adoption?
We certainly see an uptake across Asia Pacific for HP’s portfolio of systems, software and services that reduce costs and minimize environmental impact. Key technology areas which customers are adopting Green IT include virtualization, management, power and cooling, and asset-recovery services. In particular, initiatives include increasing energy efficiency of servers and power supplies, building solutions to exponentially increase energy efficiency in cooling a data center, and creating software to measure energy usage. HP also provides processes for taking back equipment to safeguard data and ensure responsible disposal.
Barriers to adoption include a lack of awareness of the social and business benefits of energy-efficient technologies. Adopting such initiatives make good business sense, for there can be significant environmental and cost savings to be had in the long run.
Another significant barrier includes a current lack of uniform regulatory guidelines across Asia Pacific. However, this situation is fast changing. Initiatives such as carbon taxes and other regulatory measures will be introduced in time to come, setting the foundation for future sound environmental policies.
3. Can you give some examples of how companies have benefited from adopting Green IT?
The benefits of energy-efficient solutions are as follows:
Accelerating Business Growth
- Energy-efficient solutions ensure sustainable growth for businesses as their employee bases grow with energy saving devices, better cross-company collaboration, and reduced travel with virtual collaboration tools.
- Energy costs can be reduced by optimizing data center capacity and the number of physical assets needed through consolidation and virtualization solutions.
- HP offers services that outsource part or the entire data center to reduce customer’s facilities maintenance costs.
Mitigation of Risks
- Energy-efficient solutions help to better manage, monitor and measure environmental footprint to meet corporate and regulatory commitments.
- Solutions ensure business continuity with effective power management to prevent outages and regulate resource allocation.
- Customers can leverage HP’s own sustainable supply chain and materials management practices to better meet their own supply chain audit requirements.
4. What are your views on climate change and the role of the IT industry?
Many companies now recognize that business success and environmental responsibility go hand in hand. As social awareness increases, technology is changing to accommodate these changes. It is important for the IT industry to generate awareness of the advantages and benefits of implementing Green Business Technology initiatives for social, environmental and business benefits.
5. Please describe HP’s green initiatives and practices in the Asia Pacific region?
With data centers and computer closets consuming more than 1% of the world’s electricity, opportunities are significant. HP scientists estimate business technology consumes 415 million tons of coal per year with 864 million tons of CO2 greenhouse emissions.
HP has a rich heritage of environment responsibility and is committed to helping our customers protect the environment. We use a holistic approach to facilitating energy conservation and resource efficiency from conserving energy and reducing waste, reusing equipment and recycling supplies.
Within the data center, Data Center Transformation solutions such as server consolidation help to reduce server footprint by up to 70%. Dynamic smart cooling also helps customers to cut data center carbon footprint by up to 40% and make data centers more energy-efficient.
In the workplace, teleconferencing and video conferencing solutions also reduces air-travel costs and the related carbon footprint, while the use of energy-efficient PCs help lower total cost of ownership, electric bills and ensure ENERGY STAR® compliance.
6. What advice would you give to companies and organizations who are interested to go green?
It is important for businesses to plan and develop an overall strategy across the data center, defining an end-state appropriate for their business needs.
Companies first need to identify and prioritize their IT and environmental goals, and set realistic timeframes based on these goals. The next step is to have the vendor assess a company’s current IT set-up and then move towards crafting a sustainable IT plan using a phased implementation approach.
Customers should select the right Green IT solutions and approach to meet business objectives, starting with a thorough understanding of current business needs. This assessment can help companies to make stepwise investments with incremental returns, which is crucial in meeting the most demanding technology challenges while reducing environmental impact.
This interview is conducted with Mr Simon Hum, Program Director, Adaptive Infrastructure, Technology Solutions Group for HP Asia Pacific and Japan. Visit HP’s website at www.hp.com.