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Tech trends: ICT in the UK today (2)

IT leaders must do more to reduce carbon footprint 

New research by Brother UK highlights the significant scope that exists for IT leaders to help organisations shrink their carbon footprint, cut energy use and reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Its survey of 500 IT leaders shows that only half currently recycle waste (51%), only 43% use, refurbish or recycle hardware and less than one third (32%) choose energy-efficient tech and IT solutions. More than four in five (83%) say that operating more sustainably is a key part of their plans. Other priorities include delivering new cost efficiencies (87%), enhancing security (87%) and building resilience (84%). Liam Fitzgerald, Head of Distribution and Reseller Sales at Brother UK, said: “The findings show that enhancing sustainability will be high on the agenda for IT leads when it comes to purchasing decisions, from the products they buy and how they procure them to the green initiatives they can access. This presents resellers with a significant opportunity to provide added value to customer relationships, by understanding where they can cut the amount of waste they produce and the amount of energy their equipment consumes.”


IT channel leaders optimistic about supply chain sustainability 

More than four out of five UK IT channel leaders (84%) are optimistic about adopting more eco-friendly processes throughout their supply chains, reveals a new report from channel services provider Agilitas IT Solutions. The latest instalment of the company’s CONNECT – Voice of the Channel insight campaign, CONNECT for a Sustainable Future, highlights how changing business models and investing in sustainability can help channel firms survive and thrive. In fact, when asked to identify in which areas of their organisation they are implementing change in order to build resilience, 45% of respondents stated they had already begun driving their sustainability and circular economy efforts, with a further 40% committed to introducing them in the future. Agilitas found that ‘born in the cloud’ providers were most likely (41%) to invest to improve their sustainability credentials, followed by distributors (40%) and security firms (38%), and that smaller, more agile companies are mobilising sustainability initiatives fastest.


ITAM to take lead on sustainability 

As the only business function with oversight of the entire IT lifecycle, from purchase to usage and disposal, ITAM is best positioned to lead to a reduction in e-waste, claims ITAM ISO Working Group 21, the ISO Standards Committee responsible for ISO 19770, the international standard for ITAM.

 In a new white paper produced in conjunction with the ITAM Forum, Techbuyer, Iron Mountain and Schneider Electric, How IT Asset Management can contribute towards sustainability, it argues that ITAM professionals can significantly contribute to an organisation’s sustainability goals and reduce e-waste by looking beyond energy consumption and focusing on the entire lifecycle impact of IT services, including the raw materials that go into building software, hardware and cloud services. 

It urges IT Asset Managers to build the business case for sustainable IT by choosing suppliers that offer circular business models (with a focus on the reuse of finite resources) and by prolonging the useful life of IT assets. 

Martin Thompson, Founder of the ITAM Forum and one of the report’s authors, said: “While much of the focus on sustainable IT has been on electricity consumption, particularly when it comes to datacentres, the more alarming concern is that IT is an extractive industry. In order to build equipment to satisfy the demand for all things digital, from mobile phones and IoT sensors through to laptops and cloud data centres, a vast array of precious metals are required, such as silver, gold, copper and platinum. Despite these precious metals being finite, only 17.4% of 2019’s e-waste was collected and recycled (according to the UN’s E-waste Monitor). This means that gold, silver, copper, platinum and other high-value, recoverable materials conservatively valued at $57 billion – a sum greater than the Gross Domestic Product of most countries – were mostly dumped or burned rather than being collected for treatment and reuse.

Ways in which ITAM can support IT sustainability efforts include: 

  • More intelligent sourcing of IT: e.g. what spec do we really need, what is the TCO of this investment, including the environmental impact? *Make repairability a criterion for IT purchases: questions such as How repairable is it?, Are parts interchangeable between devices?, What is the real usable life of the product? will focus the minds of suppliers on repairability. 
  • Sourcing from the secondary market: Do we really need the latest and greatest? Will a second-hand device meet our needs? 
  • Redeploying IT assets internally: This is ITAM’s bread and butter, helping to reduce the amount of new IT that is purchased through the effective and efficient use of existing assets. 
  • Remarket or donate devices: Devices that are no longer usable to the organisation but still have market value should be sold on, and those that don’t should be donated to those who can use them.


A slow start for Windows 11

One month after the launch of Windows 11, just 0.2% of PC users had switched to the new operating system, according to analysis of more than 10 million Windows devices by IT asset management platform provider Lansweeper. This makes Windows 11 currently the fifth most popular Windows Operating System. Almost 1 in 10 Windows devices (9.93%) still run end of life operating systems, including Windows XP and Windows 7, which Microsoft stopped supporting in 2014 and 2020 respectively. 

Lansweeper’s analysis suggests that less than 45% of Windows workstations are able to receive the automatic Windows 11 upgrade. While anyone can manually install Windows 11 regardless of the CPU, an automatic upgrade is only possible if three critical components of the computer – the CPU, the RAM and the Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) – meet the requirements necessary to execute the upgrade. Most workstations analysed by Lansweeper passed the RAM test (91%), but only about half of workstation CPUs (44.4%) and TPMs (52.55%) met the requirements. In the case of the latter, 19% failed and 28% were not TPM compatible or did not have it enabled.

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