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Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability

by 12 September 2023No Comments

Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability

Companies around the world are facing increasing pressure to achieve Net Zero goals, while simultaneously trying to maintain a competitive position in the technology landscape. On the one hand, there is the unstoppable advance of automation and artificial intelligence (AI), led by visionaries like Bill Gates. On the other hand, there is the imperative to comply with environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. This article explores how companies can navigate this complex territory.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence: A Revolution in Progress

The need for automation in business operations is no longer a question of “if,” but “when” and “how.” According to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, automation and AI have the power not only to increase productivity and efficiency, but also to fundamentally change the way we live and work. Examples like ChatGPT and the Copilot AI assistant for Microsoft 365 attest to the rapid evolution in this space.

But while automation offers numerous benefits, such as cost reduction and operational efficiency, it also presents challenges. Gartner has predicted that by 2025, the energy consumed by AI will surpass that of the human workforce, raising questions about its sustainability.

ESG and Automation: Finding a Balance

Growing interest in ESG compliance has caused boards to dedicate time and resources to develop sustainable strategies. According to a report by Deloitte, the topic of sustainability is increasingly at the center of attention of corporate boards. Meanwhile, cloud infrastructure, which is critical to enabling AI tools, is growing exponentially. Gartner estimates that global cloud spending will reach around $600 billion this year, fueled by technologies such as generative artificial intelligence.

The cloud, however, is also at the center of a debate about how sustainable it is. Although the industry is making efforts to reduce its environmental impact, the growing demand for cloud services makes it difficult to keep pace with ESG goals.

The Challenge of Sustainability in the Digital Age

A recent Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index report indicates that for 85% IT decision makers globally, achieving corporate sustainability goals represents a significant challenge. Although the majority (92%) consider sustainability much more important than a year ago, there is a clear discrepancy between the goals and the realization of these goals.

Companies are also facing the complexity of managing mixed IT infrastructures. This increase in complexity requires a unified approach to manage applications and data across different environments, to not only reduce costs but also measure environmental impact.

Towards a Sustainable Future: Cognitive Actions

Companies need to start looking at infrastructure modernization as a way to meet both automation needs and ESG goals. Using hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) can be a step in the right direction, reducing complexity and, consequently, energy consumption.

Ultimately, as companies seek to innovate and remain competitive, they must also make responsible decisions that align technological growth with sustainability. With the right strategy and the right partners, it is possible to build an ecosystem where artificial intelligence and ESG objectives can coexist.

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