AdobeStock_138066099Energy efficiency is now a top concern at most organizations. As a result, CIOs and senior technology executives are becoming increasingly responsible for planning and guiding corporate efforts aimed at reducing energy costs and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
 
From my perspective, it makes sense for CIOs and senior technology leaders to assume greater responsibilities in this critical area. Most people agree that greater energy efficiency is required. Even the major oil companies acknowledge the relationship between energy consumption and climate change. Energy efficiency is no longer a fringe issue – it is definitely perceived as a mainstream business necessity.
 
Energy efficiency is also becoming a competitive advantage. Large brands routinely promote their energy programs and accomplishments. Within a brief span of time, energy efficiency has become a standard component of corporate messaging strategies across multiple industries in every part of the developed world.
 
For example, Cisco’s interest in shifting some of its data center operations into the cloud in order to save energy costs was featured in a recent item by Sara Castellanos in the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal
 
Cisco Systems CIO Jacqueline Guichelaar “is investigating the possibility of shutting down several energy-guzzling data centers and transferring more data to public cloud services,” writes Castellanos.
 
According to the article, Guichelaar says “the move will not only cut costs but also will reduce energy consumption and promote the network equipment maker’s sustainability practices.”
 
As technology leaders, we are all acutely aware of the energy costs required to keep data centers up and running. I strongly believe that reducing those costs will be a top item on every CIO’s agenda for the foreseeable future.
 
If you haven’t already been asked to present your energy reduction plans to the C-suite and corporate board, I predict that you will be asked soon.  My advice is to begin preparing that presentation now.
 
Start gathering data and collecting best-practice examples today. Make sure that you are ready to present to the C-suite and the board on the topic of energy efficiency. Join industry groups that focus on energy efficiency and volunteer for committees that are working to reduce energy usage.
 
Energy efficiency isn’t a trend or a fad. It’s become a basic fact of business everywhere. From my point of view, this is a prime opportunity for CIOs and technology executives to demonstrate their leadership skills and abilities. I urge you to step up and become more actively involved as a positive leader in creating and guiding energy efficiency strategies for your organization.