Finding the Real Money in GreenBy Sara Driscoll | Print
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If VARs still think green IT is all hype and no backbone, then they need to think again, as the technology grabs more and more end users' attention.
Since the advent of the Year 2000 brouhaha and, more vitally, the importance that this played in boosting channel coffers, there has been a chasm in the IT sector.
No new technology has been "killer app"-enough to replace the sheer amount of dollars that the phenomenon eight years ago did. But while the industry may still be recovering from the overhype of the Y2K debacle, this does not mean that hype around technology is a bad thing. Afterall, where would Britney Spears be without the hype she envelops herself in or where would most of the blockbuster movies be without their hype-driven campaigns?
And the latest hyped-up epic in the tech sector? Green IT. When environmentally friendly technology first reared its head, probably around the same time as Mr. Gore released his first feature film, it was swiped at by many in the channel as simply another band wagon, and that users would never buy technology based on its environmental credentials. But since then it's become much more of a convenient truth for the channel, as just two years later sers are recognizing that not only does implementing green IT help them with their corporate and social responsibility strategies, but it saves them money.
However, if VARs just see green IT as all hype and no trousers, as it were, then not only will they have missed the boat to new customers and new deals, but it’s likely they will continue missing it in the future. There is more to green than simply just money–even if that is the door opener for most VARs. Governments around the globe are focusing more and more attention on their carbon emissions, and as part of this focus they are beginning to legislate businesses accordingly to help them hit their reduction targets. Vendors are increasing their green product portfolios and will be on the look-out for VARs that are at minimum green IT-aware to join their channel program, and more than likely incentivize VARs accordingly.
Not only that, but according to a study from Allianz, 71 percent of venture capital companies saw green technology as a "buy" option, and in this economic climate, having an environment element to your business could help get that much-needed cash injection from a VC company.
Additional research from both Gartner and IDC touted green IT as one of the top 10 things for 2008, and indeed, IDC’s Green IT study found that half the respondents said they look at green IT credentials when choosing a supplier and 80 percent of executives said green IT is a growing importance for their organization.
Saving the planet is unlikely to be at the top of any CIO agenda. However, saving money is, and with the onslaught of virtualization, server consolidation, cooler processing, videoconferencing and a plethora of other technologies now hyped as Green on the market, VARs have enough reason to revisit their customers and offer them a solution that reduces both costs and carbon.