I have posted on this subject before and thought it would be good to revisit the subject as it is very topical and important.
“Going Green” in the context of IT seems to be very focussed on how businesses can reduce their operational costs WRT their physical infrastructure e.g. datacentres, server consolidation/reduction, virtualisation, cooling and power consumption improvements etc.
An aspect that is recognised as being able to contribute to cutting costs (in support of Going Green) is the optimisation of the business working practices.
This however is not always clearly understood and as readily quantifiable as the more accepted case for physical infrastructure changes.
In a recent article published on eWeek a case study from Tetra (a global Aquarium and fish food manufacturer) is used to explore how after adopting BPM, the streamlined process allowed its engineers, scientists and other knowledge workers across the globe to collaborate about changes to their product line online. This reduced the travel, paper consumption and also allowed them to realize their enviornmental benefits.
The article also touches on the fact that alignment between IT and Business is extremely importnat as there is clearly a symbiotic relationship that needs to be managed using BPM and Enterprise Architecture principles, methods and tools.
Some Related Resources, Surveys and Articles
For those interested, an interesting source of Green IT information is The Green IT Department. It has various articles, videos etc. to give guidance. Sadly I could not find any refernce to BPM or process automation (possibly because the site is sponsored by VMWare!).
If anybody knows of useful Green BPM sites and resources please let me know and I will publish them.
Information technology has been both a hindrance and help to the environment — on the one hand, dematerializing commerce and increasing efficiencies; on the other, becoming a voracious consumer of energy. Indeed, today’s biggest energy gluttons aren’t necessarily steel mills and auto factories, but rather the Googles, Amazons,and eBays of the world. Their fast-proliferating data centers can use as much electricity as a small city. Energy use is both an economic and environmental liability for the IT industry and, to the extent its energy appetite is stressing electricity grids around the world, it may become a social liability,too. One study found that unless the IT industry starts taking advantage of power-saving features and build with an eye toward energy efficiency, the global impact of IT will eclipse the total emissions of the United Kingdom.
Source: GreenerComputing Article Extract – IT Plugs into Green
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