by Mark Chillingworth

Weather the storm

Sep 24, 20123 mins
IT Strategy

Recent reports and CIO interviews point to climate change and in particular the weather patterns of 2012 having a significant impact on revenues and operations of businesses. No matter where you look across planet earth, this year has seen radically altered weather patterns disrupting harvests and production. With the world nearing a two degree increase in temperature, ice flows reducing in the poles to the point where Shell is considering crude oil drilling, an altered environment is here and very very real. In Spain a drought is driving up olive oil costs, cereal crop yields in the UK were hit by the wet summer and the rural economy has been hit for billions. In the US, Australia and across Europe the picture is as bleak. 
As business and technology leaders CIOs must be at forefront of preparing organisations for this environment. Organisations will require two key components: greater efficiency and secondly new ways of operating that create less ecological damage. 
This biblical weather is a threat to the cost of living and then the precarious nature of the world economy. It is a big issue and one all of us can feel powerless to alter at times. The truth, though, is very different and not only in the consumption, actions and lifestyle choices we all make. 
Robin Young, COOof pub and food chain Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) shows that the technology strategy of an organisation can have a direct impact on reducing waste – in this case food – and therefore an impact on the bottom line of the organisation. 
As the climate challenges our food production year-on-year, being able to make better use of food resources will become ever more important for organisations like M&B. Using technology to make better use of all resources in all organisations will become increasingly important for the world we live in.
In difficult economic times the green agenda is hard to swallow, but improving the bottom line and, in the case of the food industry, being able to offer greater choice and freshness, is good business and sweet to taste. 
Technology is the only way organisations can use resources more efficiently. With labour costs high, only technology can log, monitor, alert, order and track the usage of every resource an organisation cooks, burns or serves. 
Technology is leading the way for all of us to do the right thing, to make better personal and business choices, to do more at less cost to revenue and the environment, and as the Olympics show, to have fun.

CIO Profile: M&B COO Robin Young on IT for a federated business

CIO Profile: M&B COO Robin Young on a collegiate culture