Consumer demand for more transparency in the products and services they buy is forcing organisations to get serious about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and move beyond window dressing and lip service, according to a senior executive from Schneider Electric.

Natalya Makarochkina, Senior VP, International, Secure Power at Schneider Electric says consumers are increasingly voting with their wallets on CSR. One positive reaction to the increased pressure is a more “holistic” approach some organisations are taking. 

For Schneider Electric it has meant more clients seeking more efficient infrastructure and edge computing solutions, according to the energy management provider.

“Not just through initiatives, but how products are made,” Makarochkina says of the shift in attitudes towards CSR.

“Schneider has helped many organisations digitise their manufacturing processes for example, where they are using data to produce real-time feedback and alerts to help reduce waste and carbon emissions to gain efficiencies across the supply chain.”

Makarochkina says local organisations are turning to data and analytics to improve their CSR programs and supply chains including resource management. She argues edge computing is allowing this to happen in a scalable and sustainable way.

Natalya Makarochkina, Senior VP, International, Secure Power at Schneider Electric, Image: LinkedIn.

“The birth of IoT has meant organisations are dealing with more data-intense technologies and devices than ever before. As our digital consumption increases, IT is moving to the edge of the network in locations outside of physical IT infrastructure,” Makarochkina says.

But with that resource migration comes the challenge of making sure data remains accessible in a sustainable way. 

“Edge computing and hybrid cloud play a pivotal role in sustainability because they are designed specifically to put applications and data closer to devices and their users. This helps organisations to better react to changes in consumer demands and improve processes to create more sustainable products.” 

Makarochkina cites one unnamed Schneider customer, a specialty grocer, which was able to use edge computing to upgrade IT infrastructure while reducing its physical footprint and consumption requirements.

“The edge computing deployment resulted in a 35 per cent reduction in engineering cost and 7 per reduction in maintenance for the partner. The end user saw a 50 per cent increase in deployment speed without risk to any IT equipment warranties.”

Australian co-working space provider Christie Spaces also used Schneider’s edge infrastructure solutions to launch a conference space at it’s Brisbane offices, with a focus on racks, cooling, power distribution units and uninterruptible power supply.

“An on-site data centre was designed to meet the needs of the data-intensive businesses it hosts,” Makarochkina says. “With this design and Schneider’s Edge Infrastructure in place, Christie Spaces is also able to offer IT infrastructure on demand, so tenants have greater operational efficiencies.”

According to the Schneider Electric executive, the edge infrastructure keeps costs down but maintains security and scalability.

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