The Top Ten Green IT Trends

greenrecyclingarrowsglobe.jpgThe Green IT revolution is here and those organizations that make the effort now will be big winners this year, and beyond. This is Green Tech’s year for making innovations part of mainstream business. With soaring energy prices and increased consumer awareness of the danger to the environment, organizations will have to get serious about the migration to Green Tech. There will be winners and losers, hype and reality. Follow these trends to ensure your organization is a winner on the Green IT front. Here is how to effectively plan:

Defining the Green IT Paradigm

Getting clarity about the definition of Green IT will be vital this year. The Green IT Paradigm should involve: Conservation, waste reduction, pollution controls, resource allocation, energy efficiency and alternative energy use. Areas such as reducing costs on travel, telecommuting and the ecological use of resources, will be important to factor in. The end-game for Green IT is better and more responsible corporate accountability, so get ahead of the wave here, now. Keep in mind that Green IT is also about a culture change in your organization. As with any culture change there will be resistance and denial. Tie this to the bottom line and it will have a better chance for success.

Green Data Centers

The move towards green in data centers, which are the largest part of the power-hungry IT ecosystem, is evolving. Data Centers may be contributing to over 15% of total energy usage by some organizations. Better efficiencies, smarter cooling, use of alternative energy, and smarter utilization of data resources are all part of this evolution. Make sure your outsourcers understand this and support it.

globenorthsouthamerica.jpgHolistic Green IT Strategy & Plan

Formulating a holistic Green IT strategy may be the most important exercise for every company this year. Don’t try and do everything at once—have a plan. Having in place a meaningful and comprehensive strategy and plan that is focused on what and when to embrace Green IT actions is essential. Also, Green IT needs to be organization-wide, not just IT. Green IT is not just about buying more efficiently, but about a process change as well in how you think about energy, resources, waste, materials and products.

Green IT Metrics

Measuring the performance of your Green IT efforts should be top of mind. A lot of promises without results will not separate you from the crowd. There will be a lot of talk and customer doubt that organizations are serious, so get good metrics. Saving money, being efficient, reducing costs is part of the deal—being environmentally responsible is just as important for the long term.

Create Meaningful Green IT Results

Many results that are minor may not translate into a seriously perceived effort by customers, vendors or top management. Or, don’t attempt to do the impossible and fail.  Manage expectations, but get results. Have small wins and build on them. Conservation and waste management, then energy, is a good path. Work hard to select meaningful and relevant results that can demonstrate your serious Green IT efforts. Some efforts may actually increase costs, so cost alone is not always the best measure.

Showcase Your Green IT Wins

Many organizations do not celebrate, promote and showcase their wins. When it comes to Green IT, bake this into the sales promotion, shareholders communication channels and media. Even vendors and partners should be evangelized. Most of all, promote your wins to customers.

Transform Your Supply Chain

Do an analysis of your supply chain. How green is it? Efforts internally to go green without affecting vendors and partners in your supply chain will come back to haunt you later. Influence them to make changes with you, even go so far as support efforts and award business to those that get green with you.

Create a Green ROI Formula

A Green IT Return-on-Investment is a formula for both selling and justifying the need to change, and what capital or investments in people or equipment you will need to deliver on for your Green IT plan. If you invest X, what will be the ROI? Will it be in customer appreciation? Reduced costs?  New business?

Become a Green IT Innovator

This is the year when innovations will go mainstream, so what are the key innovations in moving data, services, people, transactions and systems that will demonstrate your commitment to being a Green IT innovator? Find clear green innovations that you can implement in how you move data, people, paper, systems, transactions and communications. Choose 1-3 innovations in each of these areas that can produce an effective green result, a EGR, over the next 30 days. Then choose another set for the next. Then use these to offer to rest of the organization, vendors and customers.

Serve Customers Smarter with Green IT

Green IT is an excellent way to serve customers and grow market share by being an innovator. Green will affect customer buying decisions this year. Get green and succeed. Deny it and suffer. Keep in mind, most customers are green supporters, they expect your organization to make change. Also, you can use Green IT to teach your customers how to become green. Share the learning. Grow the market. Be accountable for the Green IT revolution.