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Use tech to enhance sustainability

Article by Agnes Heftberger, General Manager & Technology Leader, IBM ASEANZK (Australia, New Zealand, S. Korea, Southeast Asia).

Sustainability has become a hot topic, not only for government policymakers but for corporate leaders as well. In the coming years, sustainability issues will play a huge role in defining corporate agendas and could recalibrate the relationship between business and society. These developments are welcome, and corporate leadership is needed now more than ever.

However, the walk has not always followed the talk. Only 37% of companies have aligned sustainability objectives with their business strategies, only 33% have integrated sustainability objectives and metrics into business processes, and only 40% have identified initiatives to close their sustainability gaps for change.

These statistics come from a recent IBM IBV (Institute for Business Value) and Oxford Economics study which polled 1,958 executives in 32 countries to map their sustainability readiness. “Lots of talk is happening, but not enough action,” the study reported. “While 86% of companies have a sustainability strategy, only 35% have taken action on that strategy.”

Fewer than 50% of the business leaders surveyed said they were willing to change existing business practices at the expense of profits to improve sustainability. And only 27% viewed sustainability as a core element of their business value.

“These findings highlight the immense sustainability challenge companies face in converting their intentions and pledges into reality,” the IBV report stated. “Achieving change at scale requires a fundamental reconfiguration of how value is created. And businesses need to lead—rather than follow.”

Malaysia Green Plan

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Agnes Heftberger, General Manager & Technology Leader, IBM ASEANZK (Australia, New Zealand, S. Korea, Southeast Asia).

Malaysia’s Prime Minister has already articulated a vision to be a net zero carbon economy by 2050. The government also introduced the ‘ecological fiscal transfer’ (EFT) in 2019 together with a RM70 million allocation in the National Budget 2022 to reward states that maintain green areas with specific grants, to also reduce reliance on logging income.

As early as 2014, the government introduced the Green Technology Tax Incentive program to provide the industry with two available incentives. Companies can qualify for the Green Tax Allowance (GITA) by seeking green technology assets listed under the MyHIJAU Directory or by undertaking qualified green technology projects for business or own consumption.

Technology has an important part to play in helping government agencies and businesses meet sustainability goals. Currently, the ICT sector is responsible for between 1.8 and 3.9% of global greenhouse gas emissions; DCs (data centers) account for 3% of annual total energy consumption. Any advances in DC tech will mean huge benefits.

That’s where a unique server from IBM, with green computing at its core, comes in. Called LinuxONE, it reduces energy consumption by a whopping 75%, the CO2 footprint by 850 metric tonnes annually, and requires 50% less DC space compared to similar industry-grade servers.

It also features quantum-safe security algorithms and meets security requirements for sensitive workloads, including those in regulated industries such as financial services. The LinuxONE Emperor 4 server protects data-in-use while providing end-to-end encryption for data-at-rest and data-in-flight. This provides businesses with a solid data and cybersecurity strategy.

Remarkable Results

Are there any early adopters? Here are a few who have achieved remarkable results with LinuxONE:

  • Citi focuses on reducing the environmental footprint of its facilities by improving hosting densities with lower power consumption. “As our business increasingly becomes digital-first, traditional IT solutions add more physical servers and increase floor space,” said Martin Kennedy, Citi’s Managing Director of Tech Infrastructure. “LinuxONE with MongoDB provides vertical scale and critical protection against data breaches and cyberattacks, helping optimize DCs while lowering our overall carbon footprint.”
  • Deloitte is using LinuxONE to help clients optimize their DCs and could realize up to US$40 million in human capital and licensing savings over three years. “Thanks to the LinuxONE platform, we can help our clients access a whole new world of possibility,” said Ted Schieke, Deloitte’s Vice President of Alliance Management. “Clients can free up more resources that they can invest in new solutions and services.”
  • British Met Office migrated its databases from x86 systems to the LinuxONE platform to ensure it could handle massive peaks. “We can bet the business on LinuxONE now,” said Graham Mallin, Met’s Executive Head of Technology. “I can sleep easy knowing that we can absolutely rely on our data delivery systems.”
  • A large Islamic bank in Malaysia wants to promote the habit of savings and investments among Malaysians. They deployed LinuxONE to deliver the best savings and banking experience to their clients.

The bottom line: Today’s hybrid and multi-cloud environments require clients to deploy workloads where it makes the most sense for their business needs. “IBM’s Cloud Hyper Protect Virtual Servers provide a public cloud environment in which the cloud tenant retains complete authority over virtual servers for workloads that contain sensitive data”. “Built on the LinuxONE and running on the IBM Cloud, this service provides customers authority over their data, workloads, and encryption keys with privacy and cybersecurity.”

The views in the article is that of the author and may not represent the views of Tech Wire Asia.