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Is Green IT Dead and Buried?

Deloitte, IBM and Logica lead the global market for sustainable technology services and leave competitors focused on green IT trailing far behind, according to a new report from independent analyst firm Verdantix.

The in-depth study compares 15 of the largest global IT services firms, with combined revenues of $324bn, on 49 assessment criteria. Verdantix analysed IT service delivery capabilities for building energy efficiency, renewable energy, intelligent transport, electric vehicles, carbon and energy management software, climate change risk modelling and utility smart grid.

Firms included in the study are Accenture, Atos Origin, BT Global Services, Capgemini, CSC, Deloitte, Fujitsu Services, Hitachi Consulting, HP, IBM GBS, Infosys, Logica, Orange Business Services, TCS and Wipro.

"Technology services firms rooted in outmoded green IT thinking are already losing out on multi-million dollar contracts. Our research found that large multi-nationals and city leaders want IT support for new sustainability initiatives such as electric vehicle infrastructure, offshore wind farms and global carbon management systems. Technology investment in these new areas is much larger than spend on green IT projects like data centre energy efficiency and PC power management."

The Verdantix report, Green Quadrant® Sustainable Technology Services, is based on in-depth interviews with an independent, international panel of 15 senior IT buyers in the private and public sectors. Verdantix also interviewed practice leaders from 13 of the 15 suppliers assessed in the study. Key findings of the study:

Deloitte, IBM and Logica lead the global market for sustainable technology services. Market leadership requires a strategic commitment to sustainable business, visionary commercial leaders, dedicated consultants with deep domain expertise, a roster of big project wins and a broad portfolio.

Deloitte leads the market in energy and carbon management software, environmental product LCA and sustainability reporting services. IBM's water management and data centre energy efficiency offerings stand out from the crowd reflecting several years of heavy R&D investment.

During the last 3 years Logica has won a slew of innovative sustainable technology projects including electric vehicle infrastructure in the Netherlands, building energy efficiency for the UK Ministry of Defence, renewable energy management systems in Portugal and low carbon electricity networks.

BT, HP and Orange Business Services leverage a solid sustainability platform. Customers who buy sustainable technology advice and project implementation expect their suppliers to achieve high levels of corporate sustainability performance. BT Global Services, HP and Orange Business Services embed sustainability into their firm's culture and have market leading corporate sustainability performance.

In addition, these firms have high quality sustainable technology service offerings in specific markets: Orange offers strong fleet management and telemetry services and HP has launched an innovative flight planning service with environmental benefits.

Capgemini, CSC and Hitachi Consulting show promise in specific service lines. Capgemini puts in a strong showing in areas of focus like data centre energy efficiency, utility smart grid and water management. CSC has built up a broad and strong portfolio centred on five service lines: intelligent transport, climate change risk assessment, utility smart grid, data centres and water management.

Hitachi Consulting targets a broader range of service lines with an impressive level of innovation and customer success achieved on climate change risk assessment. In 2011 these providers have the core expertise to expand into other areas with nascent capabilities.

"The market for technology-enabled sustainability has come a long way since the early days of green IT in 2006" commented David Metcalfe, the Verdantix Director recently named Green IT Analyst Of The Year.

"This study clearly demonstrates that the era of green IT is dead and buried. The big money today is in contracts that support sustainability initiatives like London's city-wide bike hire scheme, systems integration for 400MW offshore wind farms and unified global IT systems for energy efficiency and emissions reporting.

To win these deals, IT services firms must show the entrepreneurial flair and strategic intent demonstrated by Logica. A narrow focus on data centre energy efficiency and PC power management will severely limit the revenue opportunities available to IT services firms from 2011 onwards."

The report, Green Quadrant® Sustainable Technology Services (Global) is available to download by Verdantix clients at:

This article originally appeared on Globe-Net, and is reprinted with permission.

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