Beyond the pandemic, the role of green IT
The road forward in the post-covid-19 world and the ‘new normal’ will also come with a lot of uncertainties for the manufacturing and production industries, albeit of different nature. The effects of climate change will gradually force companies to become both more resilient and transparent on their activities. Some industries will need to report on their carbon emissions and their intention to reduce them while keeping their golden rule of reducing operation costs.
The digitization in the factory has all the tools at hand to perfect business metrics, foster end-to-end visibility and ease the process of decision-making while reducing negative environmental impacts. Two examples of solutions that help companies achieve this aim are cloud platforms and remote site monitoring.
First, the gathering and processing of data of the production line on cloud platforms is a much more energy efficient solution than using on-premise servers. According to the 2012 report from the NGO Natural Resource Defense Council and the consultancy WSP Environment & Energy, when a company decides to move its servers from on-premise to a private cloud server it reduces the carbon emissions per GB of data stored by 36.7% on average.
Second, remote site monitoring allows the white-collar workforce to complete a large portion of their activities from home. With the complete setup of sensors on site, they would only have to come to the factory when their presence is needed and not on a regular basis (see left side of figure below).
With the help of dashboards and alarms, the travels on site are fact-based and in due course which avoids useless travels and saves emissions.