Associate Professor Alemayehu Molla is hoping to make digitisation sustainable.
Associate Professor Alemayehu Molla, Deputy Head of Research and Innovation and Convener of the Green IT Research Cluster at the School of Business IT and Logistics.
Associate Professor Molla’s primary areas of research include green information technology, digital business, and development informatics.
"I’m looking at how we are using and can use digital technology to address sustainability issues for organisations and communities typically focusing on economic, social and environmental aspects," says Molla.
"Related to this is the appearance of digital disruption. Digital disruption is technology, and technology related laws, practices and processes that are changing the way we live, study, work and entertain. Typical examples are SMACIT- Social, Mobile, Analytic, Cloud and Internet of Things.
"I look at how these new disruptive technologies are changing the way in which individuals, groups and firms choose sustainable alternatives that generate cost efficiency and reduce waste and use of energy."
His research in Green Information Technology led to the development of a framework with research partner, Connection Research.
"We initially came up with a Green IT Readiness Framework which we developed in conjunction with industry partner Connection Research into The ICT (Information Communication Technology) Sustainability Framework.
"This framework has been used by Fujitsu worldwide to benchmark organisations by assessing their sustainability within their current ICT structure, which ranges from data centres to documents, software, and hardware.
"The next step is to look at how their current systems work and then reducing the amount of electronic waste and encouraging sustainable practices in terms of changing behavior and business practices.”
His research into the practices of cloud based storage services produced report on Demystifying Personal Cloud Services – An investigation of the Australian consumer expectations and experience for The Australian Consumer Commission Action Network.
"The report identifies how ordinary consumers choose a personal cloud service, particularly as personal cloud computing is becoming more and more prevalent these days for use in software, email, calendars and file storage.
"Each organisation and service varies hugely in relation to issues of privacy, security and price. Although we have laws in Australia around online theft of information, many of these services are based overseas and enforcing such laws would be extremely difficult. Also many products now come with cloud based services attached to them.
"A simple example is an iphone. It gives you 64GB storage but only 5GB of storage in an icloud account. You can’t back up your phone so you’ll have to buy more storage.
"Consumers may be unintentionally buying into far greater costs when they think they are just buying a phone or ipod.
"So the report looked at those types of issues and provides consumers with information on the risks associated with these purchases and guidelines on making the best decision when looking to purchase these products.
"I try to see research as making a difference to either business organisations or communities. I always want to be involved in rigorous and relevant research and RMIT has always conducted research that has practical relevance and that’s very important to me.
"RMIT has a strong industry focus and which definitely is a key differentiator."