Editorial: Place your bets

The past year has seen more column inches dedicated to the concept of green IT than just about any other topic you could name in this industry. This ARN ‘Below the Line’ supplement will look at what progress has been made during that time and try to identify where the IT industry can deliver real business value to customers while making some money in the process.

When we put together a similar project last year, it felt like the industry was very much at the start of a journey – customers were asking their IT partners for guidance on what ‘going green’ meant and whether there was really any need to do anything at all. In all honesty, many in the channel were equally in the dark and often just as sceptical.

But things have definitely changed a lot since then. Green IT credentials are becoming increasingly prevalent on a greater number of tender requests and are no longer restricted to major government departments, the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act has pushed datacentre carbon emissions closer to the front of CIO minds, and smart operators in the channel are starting to place their bets on where the dollars are to be found.

As usual with new market opportunities, marketing hype is threatening to drown out some important messaging and scepticism among the user community is at dangerously high levels. But that is a natural part of the evolution process and, as market messaging matures and the benefits are more clearly communicated, those concerns will eventually die down and be replaced by broad acceptance.

The one thing that might well disappear sometime soon is the ‘green IT’ moniker itself as sound environmental practice becomes the norm. However, whether that happens in the next 18 months or much further down the track is still very much open to debate.

This Green IT supplement is sponsored by IBM, Ingram Micro and VMware.

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