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Saving Money with Green IT: Time To Invest In Information Factories

There is a good and timely article titled Green IT Can Save Money, Too over at Business Week that has a familiar topic and theme for those who read this blog or other content, articles, reports, books, white papers, videos, podcasts or in-person speaking and keynote sessions that I have done..

I posted a short version of this over there, here is the full version that would not fit in their comment section.

Short of calling it Green IT 2.0 or the perfect storm, there is a resurgence and more importantly IMHO a growing awareness of the many facets of Green IT along with Green in general having an economic business sustainability aspect.

While the Green Gap and confusion still exists, that is, the difference between what people think or perceive and actual opportunities or issues; with growing awareness, it will close or at least narrow. For example, when I regularly talk with IT professionals from various sized, different focused industries across the globe in diverse geographies and ask them about having to go green, the response is in the 7-15% range (these are changing) with most believing that Green is only about carbon footprint.

On the other hand, when I ask them if they have power, cooling, floor space or other footprint constraints including frozen or reduced budgets, recycling along with ewaste disposition or RoHS requirements, not to mention sustaining business growth without negatively impacting quality of service or customer experience, the response jumps up to 65-75% (these are changing) if not higher.

That is the essence of the green gap or disconnect!

Granted carbon dioxide or CO2 reduction is important along with NO2, water vapors and other related issues, however there is also the need to do more with what is available, stretch resources and footprints do be more productive in a shrinking footprint. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as an information, data or processing recession with all indicators pointing towards the need to move, manage and store larger amounts of data on a go forward basis. Thus, the need to do more in a given footprint or constraint, maximizing resources, energy, productivity and available budgets.

Innovation is the ability to do more with less at a lower cost without compromise on quality of service or negatively impacting customer experience. Regardless of if you are a manufacturer, or a service provider including in IT, by innovating with a diverse Green IT focus to become more efficient and optimized, the result is that your customers become more enabled and competitive.

By shifting from an avoidance model where cost cutting or containment are the near-term tactical focus to an efficiency and productivity model via optimization, net unit costs should be lowered while overall service experience increase in a positive manner. This means treating IT as an information factory, one that needs investment in the people, processes and technologies (hardware, software, services) along with management metric indicator tools.

The net result is that environmental or perceived Green issues are addressed and self-funded via the investment in Green IT technology that boosts productivity (e.g. closing or narrowing the Green Gap). Thus, the environmental concerns that organizations have or need to address for different reasons yet that lack funding get addressed via funding to boost business productivity which have tangible ROI characteristics similar to other lean manufacturing approaches.

Here are some additional links to learn more about these and other related themes:

Have a read over at Business Week about how Green IT Can Save Money, Too while thinking about how investing in IT infrastructure productivity (Information Factories) by becoming more efficient and optimized helps the business top and bottom line, not to mention the environment as well.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz - Server and StorageIO, Author "The Green and Virtual Data Center" (CRC)

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More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.