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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The IT Green Team – What’s Next ?

There are IT "Green Teams" at every one of our customers, and they are making great headway at tackling such things as vendor selection, virtualization and renewable energy.

Sustainability initiatives launched from central corporate responsibility teams made evident the synergies between sustainability and business opportunity. In response, functional business units picked up the mantle. Thus, we saw the establishment of green teams in IT and also procurement, fleet management, product design, etc.

This allowed the role of the central team to become more strategic, and less operational. It worked particularly quickly in the environmental space, where environmental results require effective action at the operational level.

So where does the IT Green Team go from here?

I think we will see the same evolution continue. As the operational benefits of the IT green team’s direct energy reduction and cost-saving initiatives prove their value to the business, they become business as usual. Energy consumption and emissions will become one of the standard criteria for decision-making for everyone within IT. The IT green team can, in turn, start to think less tactically and more strategically (thin client vs thick client; outsource or outsource data center operations; new IT technologies that will improve the energy efficiency of the core business).

The IT green team should be encouraging this evolution. Push the tactical initiatives out into the business and create some space for strategic planning.

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