Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Creating a Green IT Action Plan

A new Forrester report, “Creating a Green IT Action Plan,” outlines strategies for companies looking to green up their IT organizations. Ted Samson compiles Forrester’s high-level advice for companies looking to go green via IT in an article for InfoWorld.

Forrester recommends that companies first identify and prioritize their goals. Is it to reduce electricity consumption? Make better use of existing IT equipment? Become more of an environmental steward? Once you’ve assessed your company’s goals, you can begin the next phase, assessment. A critical part of assessment is specifying IT’s organizational role, and ensuring that Green IT is aligned with other green initiatives. The report specifically states that “green IT efforts must fit with the organization’s anticipated budget and trajectory as dictated by growth-of-business requirements.”

The third step Forrester recommends is creating a blueprint for your green IT action plan. Forrester recommends going after the low-hanging fruit, and reaping the immediate benefits from projects like PC power management, reducing print waste and improving datacenter cooling and airflow. Not only do these projects offer immediate savings that add up, they also “set an organization-wide tone for a green evolution.”

Once a blueprint has been created, you can move to the more difficult step four, “craft and communicate your action plan.” As this is a crucial and complex step, “Forrester recommends breaking it down into four components: revising processes and metrics, optimizing efficiency of existing IT assets, revamping architecture and infrastructure, and positioning IT to enable green business practices.”

While the buzz on Green IT is in the air, many IT professionals are unsure of specific steps they can take to do their part. By reading the Forrester report IT executives should be able to identify several projects and initiatives they can implement within their own organization in order to reap the rewards of going green.

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