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Any business system landscape, such as SAP Business Suite ERP, has a considerable power consumption footprint. Typically, this is even higher with transaction and user-intensive digital supply chain and operations systems, for example, SAP Extended Warehouse Management. Furthermore, with the newer breed of in-memory computing applications such as SAP S/4, the power demands increase further. So more than ever, the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of IT infrastructure and business systems landscapes is one to seize.
There are two challenges to solve for businesses. One is the growing requirement to measure, understand and report on their environmental impact, such as greenhouse gases (GHG). The other is to look for opportunities to minimise this environmental impact. Luckily the solution helps address both points and is something we recommend our clients to consider as part of their IT strategy using our Rocket Launchpad: People – Performance – Planet.
Moving the business systems landscape to the cloud and in doing so, selecting a Hyperscaler with strong renewable energy and waste credentials provides an excellent balance of potential advantages. These are just some of the reasons we recommend Hyperscaler-based Cloud SAP landscapes to create high-performance landscapes for our SAP-run clients.
Studies have found a typical cloud provider is 3.6 times more energy-efficient than a typical enterprise data centre. With the advantages of economies of scale, cloud providers are able to implement comprehensive efficiency programs that touch every facet of the facility to reduce energy consumption and are able to deploy new technologies that an enterprise data centre simply can’t perform due to physical constraints of the location or cost implications of such technologies on the total cost of ownership that doesn’t make it viable.
Including your sustainability goals within your Hyperscaler selection process is an important part of moving to the cloud. Not all Hyperscalers are equal, with some notably more progressed than others when it comes to their commitments and capabilities to a reduction in environmental impact. For example (at the time of writing), only one of the big four has committed to power all operations 100% with renewable energy by 2025.
Even within one provider, different locations/facilities credentials can vary, so taking time to understand the benefits/environmental impact of the specific data centre/provider can empower the business to reduce the carbon footprint much more quickly.
A considerable amount of the environmental impact associated with many sectors is embedded in the supply chain, and as a result, there are numerous opportunities to positively impact sustainability goals. Furthermore, there are rapidly increasing legislative requirements to be met, such as Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations (SECR), which include greenhouse gases (GHG), Obligated Packaging Producers and Extended Producer Responsibilities (EPR).
Facility location can impact availability of renewable energy and site efficiency through technologies deployed and environmental factors. Therefore, as well as considering data and security policies for location selection, the location can have an impact on achieving your sustainability goals.
Heat is a big factor within any data centre; innovation in cooling and repurposing/reclaiming heat significantly reduces energy waste.
For example, leading providers are using data centre water cooling technologies that enable the recycling of previously wasted heat to provide a low-carbon, low-cost source of heat for public sector, residential, and commercial customers.
Looking forward to your emerging environmental, social and governance reporting needs and understanding the data insights available from your potential cloud partner can help you quickly meet these needs. Most cloud providers are now making reports based on the available energy use and carbon footprint data – something that traditional data centres struggle to produce accurately.
Overprovisioning is a common problem for traditional data centres. Businesses often size servers for what is needed, not just now but for the future and for those seasonal peaks that often only last weeks at a time, typically forward-looking for five years. Imagine how much more power is consumed globally by oversized IT where the computing capacity is available but not actually being utilised by the business and is in turn, consuming more power than necessary for the majority of its lifetime.
The scalability of the cloud helps reduce environmental impact by allowing right-sizing of system landscapes in the knowledge they can be quickly scaled up and back down for peaks and expanded for growth –– with the added benefit of reducing capital expenditure on ‘future-proofing’ IT hardware.
Moving to one of the Hyperscalers will help the business move towards a new sustainable environment and possibly reduce costs if managed and set up correctly. Completing the Technical Services review will provide help towards understanding what is required to start the journey to a new environment.