Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has redefined the petroleum and refining business, treading a unique path over the years. BPCL, though being a public sector unit has been constantly discovering new avenues for growth and harnessing the latest technologies to drive customer satisfaction. B Anil Kumar, chief manager (IIS Infrastructure), BPCL, discusses the major green IT initiatives undertaken by the company in an interview with Biztech2.0. Excerpts:
What are the main green IT initiatives that BPCL has undertaken?
BPCL, being an energy company, has always been conscious of the depleting natural resources of our planet. We have taken quite a few initiatives on the green IT front. These include consolidation of data centres, virtualisation of storage and server boxes and adoption of video conferencing to cut down on travel.
Within the data centre also, we have energy efficient back up systems like green IT certified digisets, UPS etc. The networking has been done carefully to allow free air circulation.
We are also consolidating our applications. We have developed a portal where a lot of isolated applications are consolidated, which helps to reduce the administration footprint, cost and also hardware power requirements. All these initiatives contribute to our eco-friendly stand.
What kind of initiatives has the company adopted on the recycling front?
On the recycling front, we follow some simple measures. We don’t give away our old desktops, printers and other equipment to normal roadside vendors. We always follow the practice of buyback and make sure that disposed machines reach safe hands for being recycled. Printer cartridges are also not thrown away but given back to vendors so that they can be recycled properly.
What kind of savings has BPCL experienced owing to its green initiatives?
In addition to our 300 locations across India, the company had about 20 significant operational offices, each of which boasted of an independent IT set-up in terms of LAN, mailing facility, Internet and application support etc. These distributed IT facilities have now been consolidated into two main data centres. This has resulted in huge amounts of energy savings. If I had to quantify it, I would say about 30 percent of energy saving is achieved with consolidation only at the hardware (server) level. There are many other benefits like reduction in administration cost, people cost and efforts. Even the system response time has improved considerably. Thus, green IT initiatives have contributed in many ways.
What kind of RoI do green initiatives offer?
Green initiatives have the potential to offer good RoI, but one must invest intelligently. We are not investing just because it is green IT or environment-friendly technology. Before adopting new technologies, one should focus on business needs, absoluteness of technology and hardware as well as software requirements. Though we place emphasis on green IT while evaluating new technologies, meeting business objectives is also an important criteria.
Is technology enough to drive green initiatives?
Technology no doubt is a major contributor today because of the several efficient innovations it offers at the server and data centre levels. For a holistic adoption, green IT has to be embedded into the organisation’s culture. Although technology complements in a great way, it may not be sufficient on a standalone basis. Organisations should look at processes, the way people work and use technology for their advantage.
What is your comment on the government’s role in regulating emissions?
The government is formulating rules and regulations for green IT, but that is not enough. In case of the petroleum industry, we already have many regulations for energy saving like Euro 2, Euro 3 etc. We have just adopted Euro 3 and will very soon move to Euro 4. These standards contribute a lot to environmental safety. However, I think a lot needs to be done by the government, both in terms of imposing regulations and giving incentives. Incentives will encourage people to adopt regulations.
What are some the main factors deterring the adoption of green IT?
Lack of awareness is one major factor. People should be educated about saving depleting natural resources for future generations. This awareness needs to encompass all walks of life, not only workspaces or IT infrastructure. The second major deterring factor for green IT is cost. Though we all talk about adoption of green IT, the fact remains that you cannot simply throw away your old technologies and systems. While it is true that we do consider the green quotient while going in for new technology initiatives, cost still remains a deterring factor.
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Updated Date: Sep 26, 2008 17:27:48 IST