Read this morning that the market for carbon management software and services -- technology that helps businesses manage energy consumption and operational greenhouse gas emissions data -- is projected to reach about $5.7 billion by 2017. This is a market that all of the major research firms now seem to be circling; this latest data comes from Pike Research, which reports that the market for this sort of software doubled between 2009 and 2010.
The thing that is notable about the projection is that it is an update to a number that Pike Research published about a year ago. That forecast called for sales of about $4.4 billion for this software category.
Notes Pike Research senior analyst Marianne Hedin:
"Growth in the carbon management market is occurring amidst a turbulent industry landscape in which software vendors and service providers are vigorously jockeying for competitive position. Pure-play carbon management companies are redefining themselves as 'energy management' providers, and meanwhile large consulting firms and IT services companies, as well as energy service companies and building controls vendors, are expanding their offerings in the space."
You will seek the pure play companies in this space seeking differentiation in whatever way they can find. A great example is the partnership announced just this week between ENXSUITE, one of those players, and Trucost, which collects environmental data. The new pact between the two companies will integrate Trucost's information about more than 4,000 companies into the ENXSUITE energy performance management platform. What it means is that if you use the ENXSUITE software, you will be able to compare your data to those of other organizations to get a grip about how you are doing. Incidentally, this data reaches back more than 10 years.
In the press release about the deal, ENXSUITE CEO Beatriz Infante said:
"Energy management has moved well beyond tracking results; it now encompasses evaluating energy reduction programs through environmental and financial lenses while keeping an eye on the relative performance of one's competition. The partnership between ENXSUITE and Trucost is critical to the success of our customers by providing insight into their relative performance and the performance of their supply chain partners."
Seems to me this deal is indicative of another point made in the new Pike Research data: That is, services are an increasingly critical part of the energy performance management market. Right now, the firm said services are about 55 percent of the total revenue share, but predictions call for that percentage to reach 67 percent by 2017. What that says to me is that more businesses are beginning to see this data for what it is: business intelligence that could be used to improve operations. Increasingly, the companies that ignore it will find themselves at a disadvantage. Maybe not this year, but certainly in the five-year timeframe suggested by the Pike Research data.