This one is for you erstwhile VARs, systems integrators and IT services companies who have been wondering how the green technology movement may affect your future. Or for those of you who have been non-believers.
The good news is that Forrester Research is predicting that the market for IT services focused on helping businesses rationalize their technology infrastructure and turn it a brighter shade of green will reach about $500 million this year. That amount will grow by an anticipated 60 percent per year to reach about $4.8 billion by 2013, the research firm predicts. Here's a copy of the report.
The bad news is that spending for green IT consulting is likely to decline as initial implementations are completed and as the green mindset becomes simply a part of IT business practices. In a way, it's kind of like the lead-up to the Year 2000. Everyone knows the assessment and transformation work needs to be done. After that, then what? The separate market for "green" IT services will morph into the larger IT services spending picture. Another very real scenario: Because the green creds of a particular technology are often very product-specific, you're likely to be competing for these jobs with the services arms of the large hardware vendors.
How will this all play out over the next five years?
From a geographic standpoint, the timing may be slightly different, according to the Forrester report. The firm believes that spending will peak at $2.2 billion in 2014, about one year after the European market peaks. Nothing really new there, if you think about it, since European companies are generally farther along with their green strategies than companies here in the United States.
Forrester's green IT analyst, Christopher Mines, believes there are three primary stages to green IT projects: - An assessment to collect information on energy usage and carbon footprint; this can take two to 10 weeks and cost between $30,000 and $100,000 depending on scale - A planning engagement to set parameters for green IT procurement, data-center efficiency measures and other IT projects that could feed into a company's larger corporate agenda. This phase would take six to 20 weeks and could cost from $50,000 to $400,000 - And, finally, implementation, for which your company might pay $300,000 to $2 million for the services alone. (Not including the moo-lah you would have to lay out for new hardware and/or software.)