When 2020 began, we predicted that the year would not just be “more of the same”. We were thinking in terms of technology, excitedly proclaiming the dawn of 5G and the maturation of edge computing.
But as it happens, the year has turned out to be unexpectedly unpredictable, and many of the challenges we’ve faced have been about making sure the backbone of the internet remains viable, available and high performance.
Against a backdrop of COVID-19, the technologies and ubiquitous connectivity we normally take for granted became critical infrastructure enabling society to continue functioning -- powering work, study, communication and entertainment. And these systems were taxed to the max, which has required round-the-clock monitoring, efficiency and performance enhancements and, in many cases, belt tightening.
Going green: When crisis meets opportunity
Ongoing lockdowns and the subsequent run on internet resources have highlighted that internet connectivity is a must to keep society moving, and that crisis-driven efficiency moves are not incompatible with adopting an environmental mindset. The climate crisis looms even if it is not the primary crisis with which we’re dealing.
Businesses are looking to associate themselves with greener endeavors and eco-friendly, low-carbon initiatives at the same time as they seek to do more with less and limit or reduce their costs. But the cost of doing digital business can be high and far reaching, for example:
- IT sector footprint may account for up to 14% of global emissions by 2040, according to research from McMaster University in Canada
- data centers consume a large proportion of global energy
- the cloud is an invisible source of energy consumption
- streaming (video and gaming) is creating floods of new CO2 emissions
- the growing thirst for same-day e-commerce delivery has ripple effects - from web purchase to high-emissions fulfillment supply chain
These costs have increased during COVID, but there is a green lining in the COVID cloud.
Many technology solutions already exist that can mitigate the actual cost, the environmental cost and boost performance and efficiency.
Best green bet: Caching technology
All environmental impact can’t be completely eliminated, but given the outsized and growing influence of the digital technologies and society’s reliance on the internet, it’s key to take steps to mitigate the strain web activities are having on the physical world we live in.
One big but relatively simple step is adopting caching technology, which can have a near-immediate and efficiency-boosting effect. You protect your origin server(s) and enjoy faster performance, a potential reduction in required server resources (often significant) and, by extension, lower costs, fewer maintenance resources needed and overall lighter environmental footprint, using fewer resources to deliver more content.
If you’re interested in finding out how caching can help you green up your content delivery. Read our new e-book, Going green: Cash in on caching technology and IT efficiency, or get in touch to discuss strategies for lightening your digital footprint. 👇