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Sustainability: How Can IT Leaders Get Their House In Order?

Friday 18 March, 2022

If technology leaders are to become true ‘sustainability enablers’ within the organisation, it is useful to think of the potential impact they can have through 3 different spheres of influence: within the IT organisation itself, the wider business and the supply chain.

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In this blog, our experts provide recommendations on how to address the first sphere. Read the full survey report to get recommendations on the other two spheres.

Helping the IT organisation ‘get its own house in order’

The starting point for any technology leader should be to ensure that IT is driving and delivering on a sustainability strategy within their own department.

According to our research, the most common steps that IT leaders are adopting are cloud hosting, recycling and asset life cycle extension – that is, tackling the immediate issues that have easily available solutions.

One high impact area that has been given least consideration in both the short- and long-term sustainability planning is the operating model.

Since this is how IT serves the business, taking a close look at the operating model, specifically the processes within IT, sourcing capabilities and the hardware and software deployed within IT, may reveal opportunities for improvement.

Incorporating leaner IT processes, adding sustainability measures within IT procurement, and reducing IT energy consumption can go a long way towards meeting sustainability goals.

While hardware recycling and cloud migration are quick wins that will accelerate the net zero journey by reducing energy and material consumption, we urge organisations to align their IT enterprise with the long term, organisation level sustainability initiatives. CIOs can also go a step further and use IT to define key performance indicators, targets, and frameworks to be adopted at the organisational level, monitor progress and hold the organisation accountable.

The research shows that sustainability is a core concern for IT leaders, and many are taking steps towards sustainability within IT. However, there is room for improvement, starting with broadening the scope of sustainability activities to align with the company strategy. This will allow IT to contribute significantly towards company sustainability targets and facilitate an increase in the scope of IT sustainability from isolated strategies like cloud migration and hardware recycling to a more holistic approach that considers the entire operating model.

Read more about this topic in the 2022 CIO & IT Leadership Survey on IT Sustainability here.

Read more about how Coeus embeds sustainability into its work with clients here.