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Mitch Irsfeld

TechNet Flash, Volume 12, Issue 14 - July 14, 2010
TechNet Flash Editor's Note from Mitch Irsfeld

The Green Way Could Be the Best Way

The TechNet home page this week features TechNet ON: Green IT = Cheaper IT. It's hard to believe, but it's been a while since TechNet has done a deep dive into green IT/energy-efficient, sustainable computing. In fact, it was Earth Day 2009 when TechNet Magazine published its special Going Green edition, a sort of "best of" collection of green IT articles going back several years. Today, the discussion is not so much around why an IT organization should implement green initiatives; it's more about the right ways to measure success, and understanding how all those things that we tend to do naturally to sustain the business when budgets get squeezed can impact your bottom line as well as your carbon footprint.

To that end, TechNet Magazine once again took the green baton for few laps around a different set of strategic questions. First, in Going Green - Does Your Company Care?, Don Jones looks at the obvious and the not-so-obvious savings when implementing green initiatives. He also provides examples of expected savings that may never materialize.

Likewise, Ric Merrifield warns of the "green trap" in Is Greener Always Better?, where he points out the need for clear goals, execution, and metrics for any green IT initiative. It's easy to overestimate or under-credit the results when measuring the benefits of going green.

Then dive into the wealth of tools provided in this TechNet ON package for assessing the impact of green IT initiatives and best practices for enabling green IT savings.

As Mitch Ratcliffe notes in his introductory article Get Full Credit for Green Initiatives, the "green" decision is no longer about PR pats on the back for earth-friendly business practices, it's about saving money, and factoring all the direct and indirect savings across the full lifecycle of the technology. IT pros are in a great position to lead by example and emerge as change agents with their companies. The opportunity is huge, maybe the career move of the ages. Ratcliffe says, "Green thinking is strategic for your career. It requires looking ahead at the consequences of IT decisions made today and articulating the results to financial peers and senior management."

Apply that to IT game changers like cloud computing, which has the potential to not only save money and reduce energy consumption, but also shift core IT functions and change the way you work. Yes, the time is now.

Getting yourself in the green game is not difficult. The re-orientation of the global economy quickly exposed the link between needed cost savings and green practices. With strategic goals instead of bandwagon reactions, your efforts can snowball from a few effective policies to a completely re-designed datacenter. Perhaps TechNet Magazine editor in chief Lafe Low said it best when he concluded "...if you focus on the green of the balance sheet, you’ll also be doing something for the green of the environment."

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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