CSIA and CORE joined forces to discuss the possibilities of Green IT. The program included presentations from three consultants involved in helping companies adopt greener IT practices. Dave Spear of Istonish kicked off the event by noting there exists a “new understanding that IT energy spend is a huge part” of overall energy use within companies. Despite this recognition, implementing changes in this area can run into the same fundamental challenge as any change within a large corporation, coordination: “Usually IT does not own the utility bill.” Without ownership of electricity costs – which usually resides with facilities – IT has little incentive to make investment in and limited ability to demonstrate the ROI of products that reduce energy consumption. Spear went on to touch on some of the many possibilities for greener IT practices including equipment recycling, PC and printer power management, and green managed services that focus on remote monitoring and problem resolution.
John Krzykowski, whose company offers Workplace2Go, focused on the green opportunities available through moving from physical towards virtual. Many times this move can deliver both “the reduced carbon footprint and lower cost” that companies demand with payback periods of often less than a year. Krzykowski touted the possibilities of tools that reduce the amount of “commuting back and forth to the office,” including technology that facilitates telecommuting which can also decrease the need for physical office space. Krzykowski commented on the potential of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to provide greener practices and cost savings. A server, necessary to run programs hosted within a company, is usually only run at 5-10% of capacity but represents a large initial capital expenditure and at least $50 per month in operating expenses “just to plug in.” Using SaaS products enables servers to be housed in more efficient data centers generally with higher utilization while also alleviating upfront capital costs, as most SaaS products are sold on a subscription model.
Jonathan Senger of Sustainable IT Group urged companies to evaluate green options from “a holistic IT perspective” considering the many alternatives available. Senger noted four major categories for IT efficiency gains: Green IT or using resources efficiently, Managed Services, Collaboration Tools, and Utility and Cloud Computing. In the final category, Senger spoke to the possibilities of “extend[ing] the life of hardware” through adoption of products that are “accessed through the browser”. Use of such services will diminish the demands on hardware contained within the computer generating longer life spans with less need to upgrade.
CSIA, the state’s largest technology association, provides programs, workshops and major events to create connections, portals for information, as well as leadership about key issues in the industry. CORE is the oldest and largest trade association in the Rocky Mountain Region dedicated to promoting sustainable business practices and a more responsible global economy.