Two new business-first methods for Green IT

Toby Velte, the senior business development executive for Avanade and author of Green IT, said that the environmental high tech movement is on us because it is an emotional issue with people.

“Green IT is an extremely emotional topic for people and these kinds of IT solutions can have an enormous impact on them,” he said in an interview.

The green IT movement also brings many moments of enlightenment. One of the biggest mis-conceptions around energy efficient products is that it’s a money pit of sorts for customers.

Velte, a 15-year veteran of the IT industry co-authored Green IT, Reduce your information system’s environmental impact while adding to the bottom line with Anthony Velte and Robert Elsenpeter. The writers uncovered that going green can be very profitable. However, current green IT solutions are more cost savers than a new way to boost revenues. “It does not have to be an altruistic investment and that is the subject of the book and why I talk about TCO and ROI of going green around technology,” he said.

There are two ways for IT solution providers to implement a business-first green IT initiative.

1. The first thing a solution provider must do for the customer is help them decide what to measure in terms of what they will use. “You can’t manage what you do not measure. After that base line you have a pretty good idea of what to attack first.”

2. Then systematically work through these four basic IT categories: server consolidation, desktop transformation, application rationalization, and the fourth is what Velte calls the green IT platform.

“What I mean by that is the underlining IT infrastructure that will support other green IT initiatives inside the organization.”

Velte also advises solution providers will have plenty of surprises on their hands because energy is still being managed by people.

“I would say that (channel solution providers) need to complete the change. The way they look at it now from a service perspective has to change. They should look at it in a holistic view of the organization and help them to quickly find the opportunities to save money. From there they will have quick wins and those will help to support or fund other green initiatives,” Velte added.

Once a customer’s green goals have been achieved the solution provider should look into providing some sort of sustainability plan.

Green IT is a continuous improvement project. “Once they achieve their goals a self audit is necessary for continuous improvement on green areas,” Velte said.

He added that solution providers can help to create a community of IT professionals that can build upon this standard, which can be universally applied to and does not exist today.

More needs to be done on current e-waste standards. Velte believes an increase in those standards is coming from regulatory and other government bodies. But, that increase is at least five years away.

Velte did study Canada for the book. “Canada is a large consumer of energy. Not quite as large as the U.S., but it is right up there and many of the issues that face us in the U.S. are being faced in Canada both in consumption and in production of energy,” he said.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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