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How application modernization drives IT sustainability

Posted by Neil Sheppard on May 9, 2024
How application modernization drives IT sustainability

Application modernization can remove high carbon-generating processes from your IT landscape and help you achieve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) regulation targets. Discover how you can drive green IT forward with app modernization.

80% of companies prioritize protecting the environment over all other concerns, according to our new research. We surveyed 177 IT experts across the world in a variety of industries and the vast majority are focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns, with 90% running current initiatives.

Despite this, only 40% of our survey respondents feel that they're currently able to meet ESG regulations. We believe that this is because organizations are focusing on the wrong areas.

Around 2% of the world's carbon footprint is generated by IT, which is the same amount as the entire aviation industry. However, only 55% of respondents are pursuing sustainable IT initiatives.

The key to sustainable IT is to re-architecture your application portfolio to ensure your software is scalable, flexible, and cloud-based, so you're only producing the carbon you need to. To read the full survey results, download our report, then read on to find out more about leveraging application modernization for IT sustainability.

SURVEY REPORT: LeanIX IT Sustainability & ESG Survey Report


The Case For IT Sustainability

As we said above, the IT industry is thought to contribute 2% of the world's carbon emissions. Some researchers, however, put this closer to 4%.

This isn't surprising since computers have evolved beyond being a tool we use for certain use cases to become an element of everything we do in modern business. Meetings, organization, logistics, finance, recruitment... all of your business capabilities now have a digital aspect.

READ: Application Modernization: Is Every Company Really A Software Company Now?

As such, improving your IT sustainability improves sustainability across every aspect of your business. One would think the first step would be adapting your computer hardware to reduce carbon emissions, but you can actually have greater success by focusing on your software portfolio.


The Benefits Of Application Modernization

While ensuring your computing hardware is modern and efficient to reduce electricity use is important, it's software use that matters most. Just as a bottle of water is less heavy when it's half-empty, running lean software applications will reduce the electricity consumption of your existing hardware.

Modern software developers are aware of this and code their applications with sustainability in mind. Updating your application portfolio to a more-modern toolset will, therefore, immediately cut your carbon footprint.

Simply making applications more efficient will lead to employees spending less time on their computers, cutting down on electrical expenditure. Whereas faster, more-powerful devices use more electricity, efficient applications can get the job done more quickly and with less carbon produced on your existing devices, or even on less-powerful ones.

This is why it's crucial to prioritize application modernization if you want to meet your sustainability goals. Still, there's one aspect of modern applications that makes them even more efficient: the cloud.


The Clouds Are Always Greener On The Other Side

Hosting your data in the cloud is essentially centralizing your computing. Putting everything in the same place may make your electricity usage appear astronomical, but it's then much easier to manage and control those carbon emissions.

Google's data centers increased their processing by 550% between 2010 and 2018, but their energy use only increased by 6%( Other research suggests that moving to the cloud can cut carbon emissions by up to 90% and the average individual's electricity use by 95%.

Improved sustainability is just one of numerous reasons why the majority of modern applications are cloud-based. This is such an obvious pairing that application modernization and cloud migration have become essentially synonymous.

Still, 66% of professionals note cloud migration as their biggest challenge, according to a 2023 survey by Flexera. How can you succeed in application modernization when so many are struggling?


The Key To Application Modernization Is Seeing Your Current State

A map with a marked destination is useless unless you know where you currently are. Similarly, designing your ideal, cloud-based application portfolio is an exciting creative exercise, but it's also removed from the reality of your current state.

Before you can chart a course from where your IT infrastructure is right now to where you want it to be, you need to have complete oversight of your existing application portfolio. That requires building a single source of truth for your application information.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of organizations log their application data within a hastily built Excel spreadsheet. Indeed, our survey shows 62% of respondents also track their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data within Excel too.

Wouldn't it be great if you could store all your application information AND your ESG data within a dedicated tool that's designed for it?


LeanIX For Application Modernization

The LeanIX Application Portfolio Management solution empowers you to plan, manage, and track your journey to the cloud within one collaborative tool. By logging all your application data within LeanIX, you can build a map of your as-is state that anyone in your organization can view and suggest corrections to.

Then, using our Architecture and Road Map Planning tool, you can design your ideal, target architecture with real-world data and modeling. Connecting the two models together, you can create a project plan for your application modernization initiative that everyone can see and collaborate on.

This isn't the end, however, as you can then track your progress against your chosen metrics as it progresses and be prepared to pivot when needed. LeanIX enables you to modernize your application portfolio confidently.

In addition, we offer an Environmental, Social, And Governance (ESG) Capability Map tool. This allows you to track your carbon footprint in the same way you map your applications, and then connect the two to gain insight into the sustainability of your applications.


To find out more about the capabilities of LeanIX, book a demo:

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