2012 Forum – Joules of Available Energy: The Role of IT for a New Global Currency

06 March, 2012 | Presentation

Chandrakant Patel, HP

Continued population growth coupled with increased per capita consumption of natural resources requires a holistic perspective in addressing sustainability. As environmental risks increase and regulatory schemes that seek to address many of the externalities are imposed, consumers and producers will be forced to internalize the environmental costs associated with their consumption and production. Historically, many businesses have assumed a reactive stance towards environmental concerns, mitigating impacts as a secondary concern to their underlying operating model. However, moving forward, those businesses which assume a proactive stance in anticipating, internalizing, and mitigating future risks will increasingly obtain a differentiable advantage.

The necessary transformation for a business and society can be delivered by a sustainable IT ecosystem that enables advanced measurement, communication, and computation for improved management of resources at the enterprise and city scales. However, such a transformation necessitates addressing sustainability with a holistic supply- and demand-side perspective. The supply-side perspective necessitates using local resources of available energy, exploiting availability in waste streams and performing design and management that minimizes the available energy required to extract, manufacture, mitigate waste, transport, operate, and reclaim components. The demand-side perspective requires provisioning resources based on the needs of the user by using flexible building blocks, pervasive sensing, communications, knowledge discovery, and policy-based control.

This session will apply the supply-demand perspective to show how we can drive data centers towards “net zero,” and apply them to scale out services that can enable management of resources at broader campus and city scales. The call to action, given the exciting opportunity to apply sustainable IT in the broader cyber-physical space, is to take the lead in developing a holistic metric and in building a global multidisciplinary workforce to tackle these large-scale challenges.