Friday, October 29, 2010


What Is Green IT? | Using Of Computer Resources In An Efficient Way

In Simpler Terms, Green IT is related to energy efficient, cost effective and sustainable IT infrastructure through a comprehensive educational programme.

Green IT and Sustainability are the buzzwords of today's world. Sustainability represents a state of our society or community or in a bigger sense, of the world where people can stay healthy, breathe in carbon free clean air, drink fresh water and live longer. As an initiative, the corporate world has started concentrating on changing their business models to deliver environment-friendly products and services and making their businesses more profitable by saving money.

Leaders in IT, Finance, Marketing, and Corporate Social Responsibility actively involved in sustainability initiatives.

Hybrid cars, waste recycling, carbon less/free products etc. are good examples of the end results of those initiatives. To create a collective effect and implement greener business environment, an organization has to reduce, reuse and recycle.

IT department in each company has a huge responsibility and an increasingly important role to play in this effort. It encourages IT departments to consider for lesser energy consumption by reducing power consumption in its servers, PCs, laptops, etc., and for carbon footprint reduction, paper free office, virtualization and alternate green technologies. Modern IT equipment makes it possible to have virtual meetings, rendering flights and other transportation unnecessary. It also provides opportunities for teleworking, which also saves transportation. Green IT can be defined as research in and use of IT in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

The goals of green computing are similar to green chemistry; reduce the use of hazardous materials, maximize energy efficiency during the product's lifetime, and promote recyclables or biodegradability of defunct products and factory waste.

Green Computing:
Describes the study and the using of computer resources in an efficient way. Green IT starts with manufacturers producing environmentally friendly products and encouraging IT departments to consider more friendly options like virtualization, power management and proper recycling habits. The government has also recently proposed new compliance regulations which would work towards certifying data centers as green. Some criteria includes using low-emission building materials, recycling, using alternative energy technologies, and other green technologies.

Study Of Green IT:
Green IT is a current hot topic that would be more accurately described as implementing IT with minimal negative impact on both our environment and on society – though the focus at present is on the environment. This includes both the impact of IT itself – reducing the power outage of IT systems, for example – as well as the impact of IT: reducing the waste in plants by using advanced IT applications. This means that any transformation, new system, process change, infrastructure etc should be implemented in such away that it takes into account the environmental impact and strives to minimise and wherever possible counterbalance that impact – aiming for a zero carbon footprint. However, this is not just about looking at how new changes are implemented but also about taking a look at what is currently in place and assessing how Green current systems/processes/infrastructure are and where the areas for improvement are.

In many instances this will focus on legacy systems that are inefficient from both an energy consumption and a process point of view. Being Green is also about reducing waste. Waste can be anything from over-manufacturing to excessive emissions to unnecessary inefficient use of resources – human or otherwise, including travel and transport as key aspects. One final facet is ensuring that electronic equipment is disposed of correctly – and wherever possible recycled – so as to minimise the environmental impact. Why the fuss? Society is generally changing its attitude to the environment. We are starting to feel the impact of climate change in our changing weather patterns and that is making people realise that climate change is real and that we need to be doing something about it before its too late. To quote Gartner, “The global information and communications technology industry accounts for approximately two per cent of global CO2 emissions, new estimates reveal.” The figure, which is equivalent to that of the aviation industry, is “unsustainable”.

Businesses have a social responsibility to the environment and may loose some credibility with their customers if they don’t do anything about it – because their competitors will; Rising fuel prices are having a negative impact on costs for businesses. This is a trend that is set to continue. Businesses need to look to reduce their energy consumption and/or look to other, non fossil fuel, sources of energy; Governments at all levels are looking to implement legislation that will make high levels of emissions and/or pollution very costly. Businesses therefore need to look to reduce both. 

What are the benefits? The focus of Green IT is sustainability – ensuring business growth that is not at the expense of the environment or society – in other words responsible business growth. The main areas of benefit are therefore inherently that there is only positive impact on business, the environment and society. 

The benefits from a business perspective are an increase in agility and a reduction in costs. Getting rid of old legacy systems that are often expensive to run, difficult to understand and maintain, inflexible, monolithic applications will have a more profound benefit to business than just making them more green. It will decrease costs and allow a faster response to opportunities and threats as they present themselves. A second benefit is more from a marketing perspective. 

Going Green gives an organisation the opportunity to present themselves as socially responsible. Is this really going to happen? There are already signs that climate is changing and there are some evidence that is linked to carbon dioxide. What is clear is that we need to be more careful with our natural resources. Social attitude to environmental issues are already changing – people are using public transport more. 

For example, in the UK 6.7% more people travelled by train in 2006, and an extra 30% are expected over the next 3 years. Organisations are already highlighting their Green strategies on their websites and using the Green agenda to try and gain more of the market share – for example retailers are highlighting how it is more Green to get your groceries delivered than driving yourself to the local supermarket. Fuel prices are rising and are expected to continue to do so. Some legislation has already been passed and more is on the way. 

What should you be aware of? CxOs believe that going Green is going to cost them money and potentially inhibit them. They have not got the message that the key is to focus on sustainability rather than just on making everything environmentally friendly. Going green almost invariably reduces power consumption and will therefore have a payback – it is often a very compelling business case due to the high energy costs.

Focus is moving away from inefficient equipment to inefficient business processes and the need for business transformation. Many of our clients are looking at both of these anyhow, so putting a bit more of a focus on sustainability is not a big change. There are other aspects to Climate Change that our customers are interested in. In particular climate change modelling and impact analysis.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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