Green Computing; A requirement for doing business?

It is becoming increasingly necessary to have an answer to the Green Computing question in order to do business in certain markets. For example, the UK Government is demanding stringent social responsibility commitments from its vendors in order to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral.

Reducing energy consumption is the single biggest improvement that can be implemented in the IT industry. I have spoken on this blog about the benefits of server, storage and desktop virtualisation in the past. It is important, however, to ensure you virtualise your environment on technologies that actually reduce energy – technologies that require less energy or generate less heat. For example, low voltage processors, low energy fans and high efficiency/low heat components.

As IT professionals we are all working towards becoming “experts” at delivering energy efficient virtualised solutions to our clients. We all know that if we fail to deliver a green solution we will most likely lose the sale. However, I have yet to see a groundswell of IT companies practicing what they preach.

How many IT companies have serious policies around:-

  1. Recycling
  2. Reuse
  3. Carbon Offsetting

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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2 comments
Marc Heylen
Marc Heylen

Hi Peter, coincidentally I am a Global Operations Manager nowadays of a business unit specialized into ultra low power consumption. Our processor designs nowadays need as little as 0.8V to operate. What I notice is a trend where whenever we lower the power consumption, our customers embrace another need to increase the functionalities offered. If customers could be happy for instance with mobile phones that are only designed to talk to each other, then with the latest technology one could use those phones for quite some time before having to recharge the battery... :o)

Mark Bird
Mark Bird

I agree that the green issue is becoming more and more relevant in the I.T. world. I guess the first major bits of legislation are in place with WEEE etc. However the energy efficiency problem is something technology and IP in particular is starting to get a grip of. Products like IP based intelligent power blocks and intelligent environment controls linked to access control are gaining traction as ways of saving business money as well as reducing the carbon footprint. Just simple things like putting timers on all network printers to switch off over night, fitting duplex units to print on both sides of paper seem minor but offer real savings as well as opportunities to become more carbon / energy efficient.
The real problem is that a greener environment has to start with the smaller things that collectively over a period of time move the business in the right direction.