Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, ManageEngine IT Matters, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, CRM

Agile Computing: Opinion

An Inconvenient Truth: Free Up Market Forces to Tackle Climate Change

You can't legislate for innovation

It was former Presidential Candidate and founder of Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Ross Perot who famously said “The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.”

A quote which may strike resonance with the world’s politicians as they continue to wrestle with the major challenge of setting a global green agenda whilst battling tough economic conditions.

President Obama’s second term inaugural speech certainly won plaudits for his determination to tackle climate change, his powerful statements deliberately pitched to be emotive on a global stage, whilst reassuring an American nation still reeling from the effects of hurricane Sandy.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” And “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.” Now the world waits to see how these noble and heartfelt words translate from the pages to become actions?

And if the truth be known, the world is not holding its breath.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, stated that he would ‘do his best to mobilise the political will and resources so that the member states can agree to a new legally binding global agreement on climate change” and this on the back of two decades of UN climate talks that have so-far failed in their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Ironically it may not be the promise of new green jobs and taxation penalties ‘for the guilty ‘that tips the scales in favour of action but the force of Mother Nature herself. The devastation caused by natural disasters such as tsunamis and hurricanes impacts hugely on already fragile economic budgets (according to a report by insurance company Swiss Re, natural disasters were estimated to have cost the world's economies $140 bn in 2012 and over $350 bn in 2011)

No one seriously doubts that the world’s leaders do not want genuine and sustainable change but there is a real need now to cut through the greenwash and rhetoric and start delivering. We are already witnessing shifting priorities as Governments struggle with recession and debt crises. A move away from fossil fuels has long been touted as a key objective in the worldwide battle to reduce greenhouse gases, and yet in January, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that global investment in all renewable energy had fallen by 11% in 2012, due largely to drops in government support in the US, Spain and Italy.

Last November, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that whilst the use of renewable energy was growing ‘quickly’, largely driven by Government subsidies, traditional fossil fuels received six times more subsidy than their low carbon counterparts.

But it’s not all bad news. Set against the pessimistic political outlook, real progress is being made at the coalface. The private sector, particularly technology industries, is embracing its environmental responsibilities and is citing traditional market forces as the driver - cost savings, competitive advantage, operational efficiency, customer and employee pressure, corporate policy and opportunity.

And it’s a big opportunity. Consultants Roland Berger recently predicted that the global market for environmental technology and resource efficiency currently totals more than €2tn and will grow at an annual rate of 5.6 per cent on average to the end of 2025.

The data centre industry for example, for so long viewed as an energy hungry monster and an easy target for Government legislators, is proving extremely adept at rising to the environmental challenge.

A recent survey of 1,110 global data centre owners and operators undertaken by the Uptime Institute revealed that 82 percent of respondents viewed energy-efficiency improvements as a way to reduce operational costs. Of those decision makers, 8 percent described their pursuit of energy efficiencies as motivated by a desire to keep pace with their industry peers and 47 percent said they were looking to free up capacity.  Microsoft’s announcement that it’s new $348M data centre planned for Virginia will be carbon neutral and built using the latest energy efficient technologies is testament to the Industry’s focus.

And of course the software and applications hosted in these data centres offer the world a raft of technological innovations that could aid us in the long term.

Innovation and a desire to reduce environmental impact is not hard to find in the private sector. As the world prepares to celebrate Valentine’s Day, UK retailer Marks & Spencer announces that it will be delivering thousands of bouquets in modified atmosphere packaging, saying it will save 10,000 litres of water through the use of this technology. How many people wandering around West Ham Tube station during last year's London Olympics realised that they generating kinetic power through the paving slabs they were walking on? UK start up Pavegen was in the midst of demonstrating that heavily populated streets could potentially generate enough electricity to power lights and applications. Many firms are now tackling the evil greenhouses gases head on and are harnessing and converting CO2 into products as diverse as baking soda, cement and plastic, all in the hope that their entrepreneurialism leads to both profit and the greater good.

Many economists agree that the best way to tackle climate change is to allow market forces to flourish whilst the most divisive method is to mandate or over legislate.

Obama’s first term was marked by the failure of his sweeping carbon emissions cap, the Australian Government suffered bruising after a failed attempt to introduce a Carbon Reduction schemes and more recently UK Prime Minister David Cameron was left to explain away the apparent apathy towards the Coalition's flagship "Green Deal" energy efficiency scheme claiming it was deliberately designed to “build slowly”.

What all Governments across the Globe are fast discovering is that the economic issue of climate change is complex and that no one size fits all ‘green solution’ will ever work for any industry.

Companies, and indeed consumers, must be given both the choice and the chance to adopt a ‘green’ model that suits their needs and that they can personally engage with on an emotional and fiscal level.

Allow us the freedom to become Activists.

Image from Shutterstock.

More Stories By Phil Worms

Phil is a 30 year IT industry veteran with a passion for education and has personally led many school and higher education initiatives designed to engage young people and showcase the broad range of exciting and fulfilling roles in IT.

A full and varied career has seen Phil move through various senior product/project and marketing positions with companies as diverse as Centrica plc, One.Tel, VarTec Telecom and iomart Group plc. Phil is working on a project to create an intergenerational social hub that will celebrate creativity and achievement in Helensburgh, birthplace of television pioneer John Logie Baird.The Heroes Centre will provide people of all ages with the new media and content creation skills required to engage fully in the digital world. Follow his progress on Twitter and on Facebook

@ThingsExpo Stories
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...