How Much Green?

By Pedro Pereira  |  Print this article Print


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VARs, ISVs, solution providers and IT consultants may ultimately be able to put the green stamp on their environmental efforts. Analysts say it is time for the VARs, ISVs, solution providers and IT consultants to get behind an IT certification effort for environmental practices and solutions.

Dumala cautions, however, that a green IT certification could prove costly for solution providers. Drawing an analogy with organic food requirements, she points out that producing chemical-free foods does cost more.

She questions how much of that other green—the monetary kind—it would take for the average solution provider to build a business model around green IT.

Tech Networks' shares Dumala’s skepticism, even though her company has been working hard to adopt environmentally friendly processes and sell green technologies. Tech Networks even went as far as having a system, called Earth-PC Ultra, which was built to stringent environmental requirements, such as energy-efficient components and reduced use of hazardous materials.

Her point is that going green requires an investment. In addition, Labandibar says, when you switch a customer to virtual servers from physical machines, for instance, you are potentially reducing the future revenue of maintaining the physical equipment.

That means going green requires strategic thinking. There is money to be made in virtualization, automation and other ongoing technology trends, which could make up for revenue losses in other areas. And even if customers’ IT budgets shrink should the economy continue to flounder, the motivation on spending now to save later will translate to money in the pockets of solution providers.

"In the event of a contraction of IT budgets during the next 18 months, some of the discretionary spending on green IT may disappear," according to the Gartner paper by Kumar and Bova. "However, in some cases, it may actually increase. For example, many organizations will spend to save; they will buy products or services that result in a contraction of operational costs such as energy bills."

Thibodeaux, who promises to make the greening of IT a priority at CompTIA, views the idea that going green is expensive as a misconception. "Forward-looking people," he says, "are looking at it as a business opportunity."



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