More performance and efficiency improvements are needed in areas of IT in order to ensure that Australian sectors are gaining maximum returns from their environmental programs, a report from Fujitsu has highlighted.
The ICT Sustainability: Australian Benchmark report showed that from a survey of 200 Australian CIOs, many industries are now using IT to achieve greater efficiencies, and hence better emissions management to tackle climate change. On an overall basis, the IT sustainability index (ITSx) was 51.7 for 2014, up from 50.1 reported in 2012.
Despite this, when the research took a closer look at the five key areas of the IT supply chain — equipment life-cycle management, the datacentre, end-user computing, technology enablement, and metrics — the ITSx for each scored lower than results that were recorded during 2012.
For example, the ITSx performance year on year for end-user computing, which refers to all personal computing activities that workers use in their job, such as desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices, was down to 48.6 for 2014, compared to 50.7 in 2012.
Similarly, in the area of equipment life-cycle procurement and disposal, the overall ITSx year on year rated 51.3 for 2014, down from 52.6 in 2012.
William Ehmcke, director of connection research, which undertook the study, said: "From the last Benchmark Report, we can see that ICT Sustainability across Australian organisations has, by and large, stalled.
"Over the next two years, we hope to see some very real flow-on benefits stemming from better metrics and increased investment in technology enablement. These will have the capacity to drive wholesale improvement and value across private and public sector enterprises."
Meanwhile, the report showed that ITSx year on year for enterprise and datacentres scored 51.4 for 2014, versus 56.4 in 2012.
According to the report, a majority of the losses that affected the ITSx occurred within enterprise metrics, which includes datacentres.
"One could speculate the advent of both cloud services and a more competitive hosting marketing have resulted in the CIO reducing their attention on datacentre improvements," it said.
To help assist Australian businesses to improve their sustainability levels, the report offered "quick wins" that could be implemented. These included removing screen savers, using energy and performance ratings such as Energy Star, implementing environmental standards policies, and creating environmental benchmarks for the company.
"It is clear that Australian enterprises are making only token gestures towards the environment," said Lee Stewart, head of sustainability at Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand.
"Failure to take responsibility for the impact on the planet is one thing, but failure to see ICT Sustainability improvements as key to reducing CapEx and energy costs is missing the requirements for every area of every business to produce savings. ICT Sustainability, even if seen in pure financial terms, cannot be ignored."