BI Team is Integral Part of Green IT Initiatives

May 26, 2009
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Gartner just put out the results of a recent survey that shows more than one third of the respondents plan on spending more than 15% of their IT dollars on green IT projects. Most of these projects fall into the “improve energy efficiency” category for short-term, immediate cost savings.

That spending is consistent with the green IT spend last year in Europe, though some reductions are expected in the US where there is still education needed to demonstrate the strategic and financial benefits of going green.

So, with 15% of IT dollars going toward green projects, can BI initiatives be a part of that? Absolutely. Key to the success of green projects is measuring and monitoring. If a project claims to reduce energy usage, that usage must be measured before the project begins and monitored afterwards through the payback period (and potentially beyond). Same applies to initiatives like content management systems that help move companies to a paperless environment, and cost savings from reusing and/or properly disposing of end-user computing equipment.

Gartner goes on to say that technology and service providers should be offering solutions that deliver


Gartner just put out the results of a recent survey that shows more than one third of the respondents plan on spending more than 15% of their IT dollars on green IT projects. Most of these projects fall into the “improve energy efficiency” category for short-term, immediate cost savings.

That spending is consistent with the green IT spend last year in Europe, though some reductions are expected in the US where there is still education needed to demonstrate the strategic and financial benefits of going green.

So, with 15% of IT dollars going toward green projects, can BI initiatives be a part of that? Absolutely. Key to the success of green projects is measuring and monitoring. If a project claims to reduce energy usage, that usage must be measured before the project begins and monitored afterwards through the payback period (and potentially beyond). Same applies to initiatives like content management systems that help move companies to a paperless environment, and cost savings from reusing and/or properly disposing of end-user computing equipment.

Gartner goes on to say that technology and service providers should be offering solutions that deliver cost savings within 12-24 months, as that is the current focus of many CIOs given the state of the economy. Not only do these short-term projects provide an opportunity to prove the value of green IT projects, BI teams have an opportunity to prove their value by providing the data and reporting for the project metrics, demonstrating their ability to play a big role in a future, larger sustainability strategy.

Performance measures on green IT initiatives help encourage the communication of corporate sustainability throughout the company culture and potentially beyond to other stakeholders, including customers, shareholders, partners, and suppliers. This quantitative communication demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, even if these are small projects and part of the first steps a company is taking towards being green.

Given the BI team understands data management and reporting best, they can step up and offer to help develop the supporting metrics for these green IT projects. They can even help consolidate the reporting of multiple projects into the company’s first sustainability report card, where data can be sliced and diced by product, business unit, or geography, and tracked over time.

Bottom-line, if your company has green IT initiatives planned this year make sure they enlist the help of your BI team to help establish metrics and reporting. Make sure your BI team becomes an integral part of the green team, and ultimately part of the larger corporate sustainability program.

Technical Tags

green IT, sustainability, green projects, BI team

This blog resides on the Beye Connect network and is dedicated to bringing corporate social resposibility (CSR), also known as corporate sustainability, and business intelligence together.

The synergies between BI and CSR are many. CSR is rooted in data and reporting, and is dependent on BI to be fully successful. Many in BI have not had much exposure to CSR, but hopefully will learn and help support the efforts that will ultimately leave our planet in better shape than we found it.

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