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Green IT - A profound economic challenge

There's now broad scientific consensus that we need to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 80% by the middle of this century if we are to stabilise current world temperatures. And, if no action is taken, the implications are unthinkable . . . greenhouse gases double pre-industrial levels as early as 2035, average temperature increase of over 2 °C, with more than a 50% chance that the temperature could exceed 5°C . . . equivalent to the change in average temperatures from the last ice age to today . . . now that is unthinkable.

Why this is happening might still be up for debate, but the fact that this now represents a very real challenge is undeniable.

For our collective part the technology industries are responding . . . and Green is now very firmly the currency of choice. This greening of technology probably owes as much to money as it does to saving the planet. At the corporate level data centre costs have soared. NCC's 2008 Green Survey highlighted energy cost savings as the key driver 67%, interestingly the reputational value of being seen to be green was also a key driver for 58%.

Green IT remains a very, very complex issue - a tangle of technology, power consumption versus costs, geo-politics, brand leveraging, board pressure and consumer perception. Some organisations are making progress, good progress . . . and without any adverse impact on business performance or profitability.

But, as all NCC green events and discussion forums throughout 2008 highlighted - most are still yet to grab this issue and run with it, now further compounded by the global recession. Attitudes towards Green IT are in no way cynical, but the undeniable sense when IT decision makers congregate is that green business drivers will never top profitability as the key business driver. The adoption of new green technologies remains overwhelmingly driven by the bottom line. All too often there is an acute awareness that the green imperatives need to be underpinned by a cost-cutting agenda, with measures designed to reduce IT's power consumption, drive business efficiency and leverage the value of technology - 'eco-efficiency' and 'profit' are no longer considered mutually exclusive.

It's easy to get carried away by the green wave, it can look suspiciously like a fad, a bubble that's going to burst, but adoption is slowly and steadily ramping up - it looks like a sustainable trend. Green IT is as a 'profound economic challenge' and becoming increasingly embedded in organisations.

However, for most Green IT is more a challenge of changing processes and human behaviours and less about a challenge at which technology can be thrust.

Ian Jones
NCC Head of Content

(ITadviser, Issue 57, Spring 2009)

Green IT - Key to business today - 02 Mar 2009

With energy prices rising, regulatory pressures mounting and stakeholders demanding enterprises become more socially aware, green IT is a key issue affecting businesses today. In the past, most organisations paid little regard to the environmental aspects of the equipment they used, or the way resources were consumed and disposed of. However, ... read more..

Switch off . . . for good! - 02 Mar 2009

How desk-booking has become the most effective way to reduce carbon footprint. Radiators, air conditioning units, fans, lights, computers, telephones, shredders, laminators, printers, scanners, endless list of appliances that have converted offices into the biggest energy guzzlers and polluters in the country. Some companies insist on a strict no car policy ... read more..

Penetration testing is dead, long live penetration testing - 02 Mar 2009

My colleagues, Gary McGraw and Sammy Migues, and I interviewed executives at some of the world's top software security programs in 2008. These discussions were truly enlightening, revealing some interesting ideas, and we're in the process of using the data collected to build a maturity model. However, one insight was ... read more..

Understanding your ESI obligations - 02 Mar 2009

As the amount of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) grows, so too does the legislation around its disclosure. The economic downturn has damaged corporate performance and as a consequence companies are more carefully analysing expenses as budgets become more constrained. Like other expense centres in a corporation, the litigation budget is under ... read more..

Applications that deliver business value - 02 Mar 2009

Dave Gosling of Premier Global Services argues that IT and the business functions must work more effectively together to produce an efficient more productive organisation. In order for a business to be run both efficiently and productively, the IT and the business functions must work hand-in-hand. The problem is that in ... read more..

How does a corporate environment go green? - 02 Mar 2009

Paul Phillips provides some answers to this popular question. Networks have become the backbone of many organisations. In the corporate environment, nearly all business applications are dependant on the strength and reliability of the network they deploy. The demands and complexities of delivering reliability and scalability in the 21st Century are ... read more..

The art of budgeting - 02 Mar 2009

Building sustainable budgets in the face of recession. Paul Bamforth of Asta Development argues that, now more than ever, budgeters must learn how to budget effectively and offers some tips and advice on securing and sustaining IT budgets. With a squeeze in IT spending widely predicted, managers must learn not just ... read more..

Developing greener IT - 25 Feb 2009

Environmental legislation, consumer pressure and the economic climate are all contributing to an explosion in the demand for the 'greening' of IT. But greener ways of working - reducing energy and materials usage, curbing of greenhouse gas and polluting emissions - are not just worth doing for 'ethical' reasons alone; ... read more..

Calling time on Greenwash - 25 Feb 2009

Every organisation is under increasing pressure from customers, employees, shareholders and government to be more environmentally aware. But the green bandwagon has proved too tempting for some organisations looking to boost ethical credentials via headline grabbing policies way before they have achieved tangible change. Such generic statements about green ... read more..

Consultancy - A matter of trust - 25 Feb 2009

Norman Ralph Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin once said: 'All too many consultants, when asked, 'what is two plus two?' respond, 'What do you have in mind?' This perhaps represents an all too common perception of the consultant . . . but this tarnishes a business resource ... read more..

Energy efficiency and the data centre - 25 Feb 2009

Predicting what lies ahead is always an uncertain art. But in the immediate future one thing is a nailed on certainty; energy prices are set to continue their inexorable rise . . .For many companies this aggravates concerns about exposure to price increases and makes the management of power costs ... read more..

Leveraging Governance: navigating troubled times - 25 Feb 2009

John Thorp, President of The Thorp Network and Chair of Val IT Steering Committee for ITGI, considers the necessity of effective governance around value management. Tough decisions will be required in today's troubled economic times - times that may be with us throughout 2009 and beyond. The quality of those decisions ... read more..

Protecting the business . . . the reputation and the brand - 25 Feb 2009

The NCC and member oranisation Erudine, have recently undertaken a major piece of research to better understand the role of people, culture and technology in protecting the business. Here we share some of the key findings . . . Organisational culture and attitudes are critical components of a successful, modern business ... read more..

Throw away Britain - 25 Feb 2009

2008 may as well be labeled as the year of data loss. From hard drives being sold on eBay with hundreds of bank details on them, to reports about confidential government documents being left carelessly on trains, data security has never been far away from the front page. What these stories ... read more..

Balancing the risks and rewards of virtualisation - 25 Feb 2009

Richard Park takes a look at both sides of the virtualisation coin . . . Virtualisation is a concept that has become highly visible in the last few years because of its perceived benefits in reducing costs, enabling rapid deployment, and improving system availability. According to a survey conducted by Symantec ... read more..

Competing in the new world - 25 Feb 2009

How can IT professionals help organisations to compete in a world where all the rules have seemingly changed overnight? If the last few months have left you with a disturbing sense of vertigo, you're not alone. Everyone from business and government leaders, to college students and homemakers are wondering how a ... read more..

Have you ever been stuck on a long journey? - 25 Feb 2009

If you have ever been stuck in the car on a long journey with the kids (who hasn't?), once you have run out of things to I-spy you may well have played a game called 'word association' - it can keep the little darlings occupied for hours-ish. If you don't ... read more..

The future of the desktop: where next? - 25 Feb 2009

On August 12 1981, IBM executives held a press conference in New York to introduce a momentous new computer - the IBM Personal Computer running a Microsoft operating system. At that time we didn't realise that the desktop had been born, at least in technology terms anyway. There followed years of ... read more..

What's in demand? - 24 Feb 2009

The NCC's Benchmark of Salaries and Employment Trends in IT 2009 indicates that employment growth for IT professionals will be fairly stable in 2009. Shortages in IT staff has increased slightly but at the same time there has been a slight decrease in the proportion of respondents reporting difficulties recruiting ... read more..

Where will Cybercrime take us in 2009? - 24 Feb 2009

Yuval Ben-Itzhak, Chief Technology Officer at Finjan, takes a look at the cyber attack threats for 2009. Looking back at 2008 Looking back, we can see that cybercrime has evolved into a booming global business. Viruses, malware and online crime have turned into a major shadow economy that successfully mimics the real ... read more..

Dear Editor . . . - 20 Feb 2009

Dear Editor, During this period of economic recession, I believe that many organisations pushing cosmetic green initiatives down the agenda are going to fail to drive these through as financial and trading pressures build. Corporate social responsibility is something that needs to be consistent if it's going to be ... read more..

Top Ten Virtualisation Tips - 20 Feb 2009

Virtualisation and consolidation are ideal technologies to deploy into the enterprise as the focus on cost reduction grows. Certain fundamental principles remain true in this constantly evolving space. 1. Start Small Build incrementally, start by looking at consolidating your test and development servers, then you'll be able to scale up ... read more..

Tomorrow's Technology Today - 20 Feb 2009

Gary Cornell provides a view of the Green agenda from the US. he believes our greener and, more importantly, more profitable future lies in Cloud Computing. When I was young there was a horrible commercial for a margarine whose punch line was 'It's not nice to fool Mother Nature'. When the ... read more..

INDUSTRY NEWS: Spring 2009 - 20 Feb 2009

Economic downturn good news for providers of IT services A surge in demand for Managed IT Services, created by organisations aiming to control technology costs without effecting service levels and reliability, has helped boost the profits of businesses offering such services. Businesses are increasing their reliance on Managed Services such ... read more..



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