There’s a new report out of Forrester Research with some practical tips for CIOs who have been drafted with crafting a green IT agenda (or, who want to get a jump on this proactively).
Forrester suggests there are four overriding goals that IT organizations should consider in their planning. They include:
• Reducing electricity consumption • Reassessing utilization of existing technologies and figuring out where there are gaps • Supporting corporate responsibility and environmental efforts (which has the long-term effect of attracting talent, improving the company’s ties to the larger green movement and even helping with compliance requirements) • Helping the parent organization claim the benefit of better tax and utility rates
Once the agenda is in place (or actually, probably as it is being set because time is of the essence), Forrester suggests that internal assessments will probably uncover a number of existing IT and facilities projects that already support a company’s green initiative ambitions. In any case, it’ll be important for IT to team up with facilities personnel and others in order to get a complete picture. Other things that will be important for a successful green initiative include:
• Relating the IT plan to overall corporate goals AND green budget realities • Understanding how a green plan will affect procurement strategies • Getting outside perspective from services companies that have knowledge of how to apply green IT principles • Anticipating points of resistance • Setting specific goals and defining a way to measure progress
When it comes to putting the plan into action, Forrester suggests a phased approach and aiming for quick wins on the green front such as:
• Finding unused equipment and taking it out of service • Reminding personnel to turn off lights and computers at night • Enabling power management features on printers and peripherals • Adopting a mandate to buy only PCs and servers and comply with Energy Star 4.0 (this is one of the Climate Savers mandates) • Addressing airflow in data centers
Two other things Forrester considers critical: Creating internal buzz to get employees excited about adopting green ideas (maybe even some kind of “certification” proving they’ve adopted certain habits) or encouraging suggestions at the grassroots level.
There’s a whole lot more. The bottom line is that this is a report that doesn’t downplay how challenging embracing green IT will be, but at least it provides some concrete ideas of how to actually get started.