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White paper: Green IT is not just about power consumption

Did you know that moving from a three-year PC lifecycle to a four-year one could save about $325 per PC? Or that the number could hit $500 per PC, if you extend that lifespan by just another year?
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Did you know that moving from a three-year PC lifecycle to a four-year one could save about $325 per PC? Or that the number could hit $500 per PC, if you extend that lifespan by just another year? Now, multiple that by 1,000 computers. Or 10,000.

That's just one of the bits of information you'll find plugged on IT asset disposition company Redemtech's new sustainable computing informational Web site. The site certainly talks up Redemtech's own services, but it also aggregates information that helps IT managers take a more holistic and less tactical view to the Green IT challenge.

This is quite timely, given the change in mood regarding green information technology that has occurred over the past six months. Whereas my conversations at this time last year were almost always centered on reducing power consumption, now it seems that IT departments are looking much more closely at the implications over their entire IT infrastructure. It's less about greening IT and more about making technology sustainable, in both the environmental and economic sense.

Redemtech launched its site along with the publication of a sponsored white paper authored by IDC called Beyond Power: IT's Roadmap to Sustainable Computing. The document outlines the case for considering hardware for much more than power consumption metrics: focusing on manufacturing, delivery, deployment and utilization policies. And, of course, how you get rid of them when they are no longer "useful" to the original owner.

Here are two high-level best practices highlights from the analysis: - Look for ways to ensure that all stakeholders that control the impact of IT on sustainability are included in the chain of communications and decision-making. This means getting IT managers, facilities teams, and finance representatives to be part of the discussion. - Make the process around hardware decommissioning part of the procurement process so that it's not an afterthought.

And, make sure that strategy covers the following areas: 1. Environmental Objectives (including product selection criteria, post-deployment management and asset disposal). An area of particular note in this section, especially given the current economic climate, is the discussion of factors that can help an IT organization prolong the life of their hardware. 2. Social Objectives (including proactive managed donations of old assets, monitoring of whether or not IT asset disposition partners use ethical labor practices, and ensuring that the whereabouts of corporate e-waste are closely documented). 3. Financial and Security Objectives (including compliance with security regulations regarding disposal of corporate data and a plan that lets the organization capture as much value as possible out of aged assets).

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