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Get Ready for Green IT 2.0

By now, most IT pros are familiar with Green IT technologies such as virtualization, and more efficiently cooling data centers. But consultants say that a new wave of Green IT technologies are on the way --- call it Green IT 2.0.

In Green IT 2.0, greening and energy savings related to technology will expand well beyond the data center, and beyond individual PCs. It goes even beyond networks. Green IT 2.0 goes to the very core of the way an enterprise operates --- it examines business processes and operations at every level of a company, and suggests ways to re-tool for energy saving and reducing carbon emissions.

The first wave of Green IT 2.0 is just starting to hit. As noted in's Green IT: Software for counting carbon and controlling costs, there is a new wave of carbon management and environmental management IT tools just now being released by firms such as Carbonetworks. They are decision-making tools that help enterprises determine the best way to reduce their carbon footprints. And the software can be used to help companies alter the way they do business as a way to reduce their carbon footprints.

The tools integrate with existing IT infrastructure, so will fall under the purview of IT departments. Here's an example, taken from Green IT: Software for counting carbon and controlling costs:

"We were considering investing in a video conferencing room to cut down on flying and assumed we should put it in the offices where the largest number of people are working and therefore flying from," says Tony Rooke, head of environment and sustainability at Logica. "Instead, we found people were flying more to and from two other locations."

This information led the company to site the conference room at a different office, cutting more airline travel in the process. These are the kinds of findings his team is making with its clients, he says.

Previously, analysis software served the accounts department and only showed the financial cost of travel rather than the origin and destination of flights. "Current reporting systems are financially based. We drill down to the deeper data to acquire better knowledge of what is going on," states Rooke.

Deloitte's (John) Winstanley says, "These IT suppliers [provide] systems that assist clients to work out the carbon cost of the transaction as well as the business cost. It helps them decide where to spend their money to ensure the maximum return." Further evidence of the begining of Green IT 2.0 is that enterprise software giant SAP is incorporating carbon management into its enterprise-level finance and logistics systems. SAP sustainability operations manager Daniel Schmid told that SAP is now "targeting the emissions produced outside the IT hardware a company uses, supporting companies in being sustainable. Our strength is that we look at the business process, which crosses silos."

The upshot of all this? In Green IT 2.0, energy-savings and environmental awareness won't be viewed as separate from the core of IT's work --- it will be embedded directly in it.



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