What is less heavy and less real than a cloud? According to Tristan Labaum, founding president of the Green IT Alliance, “Today is madness clouds where everyone gives everything and anything”. But clouds not in the clouds but in Data Center “, assures the expert. And companies run into the same environmental impact issue over and over again: “manufacturing new equipment to maintain servers and clouds within Data Centerit’s 80 times more impact than in the first year of use,” he adds.
If, as assured by Frédéric Bordage, independent expert and founder of Green IT, “operators Data Center they have done a remarkable job over the past fifteen years reduce energy consumption Should we use this to store more and more data? It’s a no for Caroline Vateau, director of “responsible digital” at Capgemini Invent. “It’s important to manage consumption, to make sure we can handle info overload, unnecessary storage. It’s not Versailles, is it! We need to do the same in the control model of her energy consumption clouds by setting limits. »
Companies therefore face many challenges in implementing a policy of digital sobriety, i.e. “reasonable because justified use of digital technology”, says Frédéric Bordage. The slow techniqueecodesign of digital services, search and clouds responsible, so many concepts that are step by step integrated into corporate management.
Construction of infrastructures, sinews of war
“You haven’t escaped your life at 40 if you don’t have a watch attached!” insists Frédéric Bordage. We need to agree to go back to second grade, support re-employment and think about digital sobriety. Although often associated with limitation, sobriety is nevertheless creative and allows for positive solutions.
Caroline Vateau, who recently worked on Nega Byte public project, a benchmark for measuring the environmental impact of digital services and suggesting areas for improvement, draws a clear conclusion: “There needs to be real reflection on the workstation and on the device, on the way to making it last as long as possible. on how to delay software obsolescence”. The expert therefore assures that companies must make decisions, carefully choosing what is essential in digital services and ensuring that they operate “as economically as possible”. In a word, think about the eco-design of their digital services. “And create them in a very sober way,” adds Frédéric Bordage.
The slow technique in the service of digital sobriety
As for Toulouse-based start-up WeatherForce, which offers a rainfall forecasting service for farmers, slow technique fundamentally changed the way of working. Frédéric Bordage, who intervened in the collective operation created by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hérault and Ademe, called “Green Concept”, tells how we switched to a smartphone equipped with 4G, the equipment needed to access it. 2G phone receiving SMS.
“In order for this service to exist in developing countries that are not equipped with 4G, and also to eco-design it, we worked on a pilot village in the Ivory Coast,” explains the expert. Smartphones and state-of-the-art networks have been replaced by a system with two solutions: on the one hand, to send a text message to a cell phone that may be 20 years old, and on the other hand, to bypass the 30% illiteracy rate. in the countryside, the teacher receives the SMS and writes the information on the board, which is then handed over to the parents who work the land when the children come home from school”.
Frédéric Bordage is pleased: “We don’t modify already created impacts, we avoid them”. And for good reason, thanks to this solution slow technique, all expendable digitals have been removed. “It’s a perfect use case green Where cutting edge technology is used only in Toulouse for a forecasting supercomputer that makes it possible to know precisely and reliably when the rain is supposed to fall, and therefore to sow and harvest at the right time, by limiting the use of inputs, namely fertilizers, pesticides … “.
Operators clouds soon consultants in digital sobriety?
Taking inventory of needs, thinking about stored data, “this also means learning to resize and update applications that are being migrated to the cloud,” insists Caroline Vateau. Easy access to clouds is a bias for companies—as well as individuals—who feel they don’t have to choose. “At the push of a button, anyone can access computer resources, without interruption, copied to multiple locations, overflows the expert. If however Data Center have made great progress in energy efficiency, operators still have work to do when it comes to reducing inventory and especially recycling the components they use”.
Caroline Vateau even suggests this on the model of energy suppliers cloud providers ultimately advises its customers on the selection of their storage offering. “Why not use their experience and their visibility to support companies in reducing their environmental footprint and theirs at the same time?” If today the practice is marginal, the reason is obviously financial: “the more the company consumes, the more interesting it is cloud provider », he admits confused.
For Frédéric Bordage, the effort must go further. “How is possible, that cloud providers are they not being transparent about their environmental impact?, he protests. They only deal with greenhouse gas emissions, which represent only 11% of the impact of digital technology in France. Which means they dodge almost 90% of their impact. They are either stupid or faking it.