Feeds

How green is my vendor?

Not very, in many cases

High performance access to file storage

Environmental issues are becoming a big concern for those involved in managing IT and communications. You can tell this because just about every other supplier is touting their green credentials.

Often they have only reduced their power consumption by a fraction of a megawatt, run an electric shuttle bus to their out of town business park location, or have just switched to "low energy" drinks in their staff cafeteria, but it's presented as being green.

It might make good marketing sense for vendors to make every effort to boost their green credentials, but is it really making a difference to customers, the vendors, or perhaps more importantly, the environment?

There are of course many green issues that might have an influence on the IT department, some directly affecting budgets, others involving relationships with other parts of the business.

The amount of power and cooling needed to run computers is often a first thought, then the chemicals and paper consumed by high speed laser printers and the legal requirement to re-cycle old desktops, laptops, and mobile phones (sometimes via the junior members of the departments). Marketing and personnel departments in many companies are starting to ask "how green can we say we are?"

While vendors are keen to tout how they might help slap a little spot of green paint, this generally only addresses one or two environmental issues and does not take a sufficiently broad view. The wider environmental challenge is about more than reducing power usage in one area, and has to encompass commercial impacts on the environment across the organisation, rather than just simplistic green ROI calculations.

It also needs to take into account the entire supply chain from component vendor to end of life, especially considering the legislative directives around waste and hazardous substances (WEEE and RoHS), and whether resources being used are sustainable or not.

These legal pressures will only increase as governments attempt to tackle the green issues further. So, for businesses of all types it is an organisational "lifestyle" change that has to be applied in a commercially sustainable business context.

This broader impact is difficult to quantify. For example, moving compute power from desktop PCs into a shared server farm may focus attention on the amount of power and cooling consumed in the server room, whereas the savings generated elsewhere from reduced desktop energy consumption, noise and even the frequency for upgrades may be missed.

This plays into another perhaps more important impact on the business - the red line of finance as well as the green line - which means no green measures will succeed unless they are commercially as well as environmentally sustainable.

Making investments in environmentally positive IT can have other wide-ranging benefits beyond simply reducing costs and environmental footprint. While IT consumes power and precious resources during its manufacture and use, it can change working patterns and behaviour in a way that reduces its environmental impact over its lifetime.

For example mobile, remote conferencing, and collaboration technologies allow unnecessary travel to be avoided, but they also permit workers to be more efficient as they can fill the time when they are on "standby" - between full-on work and home life - with productive tasks.

Dispersed teams can collaborate with telephone, web and video conferencing tools that take advantage of the high availability and relatively low cost of broadband, compression technologies and open standards, and so avoid the need to waste precious time and resources in travelling.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.