In the past, most enterprises have paid little regard to the environmental aspects of the equipment they use, or the way resources are consumed. This attitude needs to change, and quickly.


Sustainability has become a significant issue for every enterprise, and is particularly pertinent for IT management, which must focus on supporting the requirements of the organization in this area. This is one of the key conclusions of the report “Sustainable IT Provision – Meeting the Challenge of Corporate, Social, and Environmental Responsibility,” published by Butler Group, Europe’s IT research and advisory organization. According to the report, the challenges of meeting these responsibilities have brought into sharp focus the need for IT to be more proactive, along with including the required capabilities into IT strategy and governance procedures.


Increasing prominence is being placed on the ability of IT deliverables to match organizational sustainability objectives. Unfortunately, there still appears to be a lack of focus by IT management on understanding the organization’s main goals in this area. Without this, it is impossible to formulate an IT strategy that will meet the organization’s sustainability needs. To facilitate this, IT must improve the flexibility and efficiency of its operations, and measure performance related to environmental and social objectives.


Those taking an interest in environmental aspects of life may have already come across the mantra of the Three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. Butler Group has added a fourth R for the IT manager – re-engineer – which encompasses the approaches and technologies that need some investment in resources to bring to fruition but can be a significant factor in the IT department’s contribution to sustainability.


An obvious starting point for energy reduction is to ensure that all computer equipment is turned off when it is not being used, enabling power management capability, and having effective asset management where unused equipment is quickly decommissioned. In addition, all organizations should aim to dispose of old hardware responsibly by sending unwanted PC equipment to be reconditioned and recycled.


The increasing energy requirements of data storage can no longer be ignored by the IT manager. The growing amount of uncontrolled storage cannot be allowed to carry on indefinitely. The time has come to address the mounting disparity between storage management capability and the increasing number of storage devices and capacity.


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