Opportunity knocks: Long-term opportunities abound in Green IT’s future

Most of the talk about Green IT focuses on the relatively small part that IT—particularly hardware and the data centre—contributes to carbon emissions. But 95 percent of the problem is generated elsewhere. Those software and IT services companies that can offer carbon-reduction solutions across a range of applications and processes will be well-placed to pick up the business.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff April 9, 2008

Most of the talk about Green information technology (IT) focuses on the relatively small part that IT—particularly hardware and the data centre—contributes to carbon emissions. But 95 percent of the problem is generated elsewhere.

In a market deep in fear, uncertainty, and doubt, IT services companies are in a good position to help their customers steer a path to a low-carbon future, but many are reluctant to take up the challenge. Most have focused on the quick, cost-reduction wins that IT departments should have been doing anyway. It all helps, but it’s a drop in the bucket.

Legislation currently going through parliament will introduce both carbon pricing and ranking tables of high energy users, which will truly focus minds. Those software and IT services companies that can offer carbon-reduction solutions across a range of applications and processes will be well-placed to pick up the business.
According to a briefing from The Green IT Report , IT services suppliers need to be turning their own organisations, products, and services green. But to benefit from the opportunities they should also be building their expertise and solutions portfolio. This includes carbon strategy, counting, and management through to more flexible manufacturing and logistics solutions. Greenwashing will only identify the losers.

“IT itself is a relatively small part of the carbon emissions problem, but will be a huge part of the solution,” says Peter Foster, director, The Green IT Report. “IT suppliers need to be positioning themselves now to take advantage. The market is evolving too quickly for a‘wait and see’ approach.”

The Green IT Report is an independent analyst organisation reporting on the effects of environmental issues on the IT market in general, and the software and IT services sector in particular.