When it comes to sustainability in business, making the most of things takes much more than a desire to save the planet. Organizations are held accountable for their contribution (or lack thereof) towards meeting environmental goals, and failing to meet compliance targets can lead to significant penalties.

That isn’t to say sustainability is nothing but deadlines and penalties, of course. In fact, it can also be a major source of value for organizations with the knowhow to turn environmental demands into opportunities. A business can drive sustainability to cut operational costs, future-proof its offering, or maximize its appeal with eco-conscious clientele.

This attitude has started to appear in earnest within IT service management (ITSM). It can be easy to forget just how much of a carbon footprint digital services can have, especially given how reliant we have become on them for everything from work, to communication, to entertainment. For digital service providers, even a few daily practice changes can have a significant impact on the sustainability of its operations, strategy, and offering.

So, exactly how important is sustainability in ITSM, and how can businesses take advantage of it? In this article, we look at why ITSM managers ought to be doing as much as they can to optimize sustainability.

Why Should ITSM Teams Care About Sustainability?

Compliance Made Easy

With most governments now enforcing environmental targets, companies need to keep a close eye on their carbon footprint. We have already spoken about the potential fines that come with failing to comply with green goals, though offending organizations can also suffer major blows to PR in response to disasters. Even so, many organizations see investing in compliance as little more than a mandatory money pit.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a case of spending money to save money. Even simple changes to ITSM practices can make a big difference. For example, teams can use less storage by not collecting and retaining unneeded data or by switching off unnecessary staging environments. There is also a great deal of potential in emerging technology like cloud storage, as well as multimedia formats that use less energy. 

There is also a lot to say about investing in service features with a strong environmental leaning. For example, teams could greatly reduce repetition and wasted time by emphasizing reliability and access.

With all of this, businesses can greatly reduce the environmental footprint of ITSM and support overall corporate compliance. Many of these practices can even be implemented outside of IT, helping organizations to improve sustainability in any teams or departments that use IT-powered services. When it comes to sustainability in ITSM, a little can go a long way.

Client Expectations

Environmental policy can be a major part of any company’s public image. After all, the environment is very much a public-facing concern, and clients tend to be far more likely to gravitate towards companies that take a proactive stance to delivering sustainable services.

With this in mind, it should go without saying that caring about sustainability is important for public-facing businesses. That is not to say evolving client expectations are purely limiting, however. In fact, focusing on making services sustainable can add a great deal to their value and appeal.

For example, making services more reliable will, naturally, improve their appeal among potential clients. Focusing on this element of useability can also greatly reduce the amount of energy a service requires. Similar features to focus on include ease of access, loading speed, general useability, and so on.

Remember, by investing in sustainable ITSM, you are investing in the appeal of your services and helping clients feel confident that, by supporting your company, they are supporting the environment.

Savings

Striving for sustainability can lead to major savings, and this is certainly the case with ITSM. Alterations to technology, services, and general practices can greatly reduce the energy consumption of a team or department, freeing up capital that can be redirected elsewhere.

An important point to keep in mind when it comes to sustainability savings is that even little changes in ITSM can have a huge impact. Most areas of your typical business rely on IT services, including non-technical departments such as Marketing. Because of this, implementing even minor changes in terms of general practices will affect a large number of employees. With a few general upskilling sessions on sustainability, you could enjoy major savings throughout your organization.

It is also important to remember that none of this is a new idea. Indeed, ‘Green IT’ has been around since the 1990s, long before IT-powered services were anywhere near as essential as they are now. Experienced IT managers are familiar with adopting changes for the sake of sustainability, and the right candidates may even be able to offer ideas of their own based on their familiarity with your current setup.

Future-Proofing

Sustainability is a hot-button topic and will only become more relevant in the future. Acting to make your ITSM operations more sustainable can be a great way to prepare for future developments. After all, increased energy costs and more demanding compliance targets are almost a guarantee, and preparing now can save a significant amount of time, effort, and expense down the line.

This is even reflected in existing best practice frameworks. ITIL 4, for example, recently released a new module, ‘Sustainability in Digital and IT’. One of its major focus points is preparing companies for upcoming developments and the inevitable VUCA challenges that will come with future drives for sustainability.

By investing in greater sustainability for ITSM and making it a part of a team’s drive for continuous improvement, organizations can leave themselves far better able to adapt to future challenges and opportunities. 

Achieving Sustainable ITSM 

If sustainability is not part of your team’s current agenda, it will be worth investigating opportunities as quickly as possible. It is already a major consideration in IT and digital technology and will only become more of a priority in the future. With this in mind, organizations wishing to capitalize on sustainability ought to invest in the necessary cultural changes sooner rather than later.

ITIL 4 Sustainability in Digital and IT’ is a new module in the ITIL certification path. Based on insight from leading ITIL practitioners and subject matter experts, it offers best practices and tools to help drive sustainability. This includes how to undertake a cost-benefit analysis for potential opportunities, as well as how to implement permanent changes to ITSM cultures. The exam also has no prerequisites, meaning that anyone can study sustainable ITIL without having to take any additional courses.

Good e-Learning is an award-winning online training provider, as well as an accredited Market Leader for ITIL training. We work with highly experienced subject matter experts to deliver training that not only helps candidates get certified but also leaves them with practical advice to help them begin applying their training as soon as possible.

Each of our courses comes with a variety of engaging training assets, including instructor-led videos, downloadable whitepapers, and regular knowledge checks. Our support team aims to answer requests within 24 hours and can even provide candidates with free certification exam vouchers and resits. Candidates can also access our courses any time, anywhere, and from any web-enabled device, thanks to the free Go.Learn app.

Good e-Learning also specializes in corporate training. We can customize our award-winning LMS to meet the learning requirements and goals of our clients, including bespoke company branding. We also offer dynamic reporting on both teams and individuals, helping us take a proactive approach to ensure candidates can pass their exams without difficulty. Each client also receives a direct point of contact with Good e-Learning to discuss their needs even as they scale and evolve.

Want to find out more? Contact a member of the Good e-Learning team today!

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Philip is a content writer with experience across multiple industries, including gaming, home improvement, and now e-learning. He graduated from the London School of Economics with a BA in History before taking on various odd jobs and volunteer writing positions, but soon broke into professional writing as a retail journalist. Now focusing on content writing, Philip is a tireless enemy of cliched corporate jargon. He believes that marketing content should be clear, concise and relevant to readers. Rather than assuming that customers know all about your solution, it is up to you to identify with their problem and offer something that will really get their attention. As such, he strives to understand the real-world applications of Good e-Learning’s product portfolio so that it can be explained in a way that is both coherent and down to earth. If you cannot understand what you are selling, you won’t get far! In his spare time, Philip enjoys watching movies, gaming and writing with friends.