CIOs and IT leaders are taking a stand on sustainability as more companies adopt environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies across their organizations.
This makes sense, since technology leaders have the best visibility into how data resources are being used. Some forward-looking CIOs and technology executives have even formed a non-profit called SustainableIT.org, which works to define sustainable transformation programs, set standards and certifications, provide training, and raise awareness for ESG programs.
“As an IT leader, you have a very good view into how you consume resources. IT needs to be a conscious consumer,” Srini Koushik, EVP & CTO, Rackspace said. “Technology leaders need to take a leadership role in sustainability, and make those recommendations to business leaders.”
The reality is that advanced sustainable best practices and ideals are good for the environment, society, and people – and also good for business.
“The leaders of this space need to step up and find out it’s a win-win situation,” Koushik said. “A focus on sustainability is good for the business. It is not a competing priority.”
CIOs are now considering how to deal with their own sustainable data challenges, like managing data sprawl across siloed systems, and the environmental impact of data center footprints. A customer data platform (CDP) can help address some of these core challenges through centralized data management, increased data democratization, and increased data efficiency across teams.
Cloud Migration and the CDP
Sustainability initiatives are gaining steam in IT because these groups can have a direct and measurable impact on ESG programs. CIOs help choose technology solutions, and are the first line of defense in making sure those solutions advance sustainable best practices.
Cloud migration is often a top priority for a CIO looking to develop sustainability initiatives. CIOs who decide to move their infrastructure into the cloud can benefit from higher server utilization. This allows companies to run more workloads with less carbon emissions.
In addition, running applications in the public or hybrid cloud can deliver improved energy efficiency compared to on-premises solutions, if managed properly. For companies that want to move towards a more sustainable technology framework, as-a-service solutions allow brands to dial up or down computing resources as needed.
By deploying a CDP with pre-built connectors and RESTful APIs, CIOs can manage resources more efficiently through a centralized data management solution.
A CDP is a critical piece of software to help migrate to the cloud successfully, – especially when it comes to establishing data governance policies and secure data management practices in cloud a environment. Data privacy and governance capabilities provided by a CDP can help protect sensitive data in public or a hybrid cloud solution.
Streamlining Data Management with a CDP
Another top priority for CIOs looking to advance sustainability is optimizing and centralizing data management. As omnichannel marketing expands, so does your data footprint. That data sprawl needs to be managed sustainably.
“Most people just store everything,” Koushik said. “Being judicious and conscious about what data you store, how much of it you store, and how you store it, are all on the environmental side of what you can do.”
Customer data platforms are designed to reduce data sprawl by integrating data from multiple into a single customer view through a process called identity resolution. This democratizes data, and reduces redundancies across the enterprise by establishing single source of truth for customer data.
With a centralized data system, analytics are also streamlined, improving speed to insight and increasing efficiencies across teams. By doing this you will see substantial sustainability benefits, as it will be easier to build new processes when every analysis runs against the same, governed, high-quality data set.
CIOs and CMOs should take note that this transition will be a significant effort since existing processes are rebuilt to work with new data systems.
Creating Sustainable Data Practices
Managing data effectively is an important step for CIOs that want to take the lead on sustainability. Embracing cloud infrastructure and reducing data sprawl through centralized data management can help leaders succeed in establishing clear ESG initiatives. A CDP is critical data management infrastructure that can assist in accomplishing these goals by providing the framework needed to manage data safely and securely across the enterprise.