The call is out for organisations worldwide to focus upon greening their operations. While doing so positively affects the entire planet, your company must ensure a structured and goal-oriented pathway to this greening, ensuring a seamless, long term transition which will result in reduced energy consumption, intelligent disposal, efficient data centre design and wise implementation of products manufactured with the environment in mind. Becoming green is both ‘politically correct’ and an environmental obligation, but corporations must also ensure that the process produces a positive return on investment (ROI).
Green Computing Can Be Achieved By
There are four main pathways toward the greening of an entire organisation:
- Intelligent use of energy and information systems (‘green use’)
- Reduction of waste, reuse and refurbishment of hardware and recycling of out-of-use peripherals and other items (‘green disposal’)
- The efficient design of data centres and workstations (‘green design’)
- Informed purchasing of components, peripherals and equipment manufactured with the environment in mind (‘green manufacturing’)
Five Areas of Organisational Obligation
When moving towards greening, ensure that implemented changes and processes do not sacrifice five important areas of organisational obligation:Positivity of user experience
- Workflow efficiency
- Regulatory compliance and safety
- Customer satisfaction
- Return on investment
How to Transition to Green Computing?
In order to reach sustainability goals without sacrificing the five areas of obligation, management should initiate transition through a well-organized and interdepartmental strategy. Below are several steps to include within your plan:
1. Set Out Your Objectives
Develop a comprehensive plan consisting of both immediate objectives and a long-term vision. To do this, develop a three-year roadmap including current needs or advancements (such as telecommuting, energy efficiency and reduction of paper consumption), items for competitive advancement and even a ‘wish list’ of desirable, yet not immediately justifiable, options. Don’t focus merely upon things that will bring instant gratification. Remember to include strategies toward results that may require a year or more to attain for future benefit. Leave room for technological advancement, flexibility and scalability.
Don’t forget to include all your assets within your plan. For example, when thinking of IT changes, consider the end-user. How will the plan affect the human element within your business? While financial viability and sustainability are the desired outcomes, without user satisfaction, results will suffer. Employee buy-in is a definite requirement. Also, will the changes affect human resource needs in the arena of jobs, work hours and departmental structure?
3. Go Slow
Commit to gradual implementation. Make changes that will be enacted in phases in order to ensure a seamless transition and minimal effect upon customers, general operations and profitability.
Develop and utilise relationships. Network – in a social business manner – with peers in the sustainability movement and other organisations. Get to know the manufacturers of items your organisation requires for the development of a truly green approach, then use those relationships to partner in pilot programs or other strategies that can cut your costs.
Resistance to Change
In the greening of your organisation, you will note many of the same obstacles as seen within any corporate strategy changes or implementation processes. There will likely be budgetary, structural and human resource issues. To avoid a negative impact upon your organisation, develop the stance of engaging employees in the green computing future of your company. Allow them to voice concerns and feedback. Enlist marketing personnel to aid in both internal and external corporate communications relative to what will prove to be beneficial changes and responsible advancements within your company.
Conclusion – Green Computing
Regardless of the size of your business, you can positively affect the future of the planet through simple changes in green computing and the structure of your IT environments. Whether starting with cloud computing, reduction of printing and paper consumption, adoption of energy efficiencies, or implementation of telecommuting options, reduction of your carbon footprint can start immediately. Without question, green computing is the future – and everyone’s obligation – to ensure the longevity of both our businesses and the environment in which we exist.