Everything in information technology from processors to data centers is following
a new trend – that of going green. It is not really possible to define
green IT as it is not made of one single thing. Any process, related to IT,
that results in low energy consumption, energy efficiency, or is environment
friendly can be termed as green IT.
Whether it is sheer economics that is fuelling this trend or a sense of social responsibility, one cannot ignore the fact that a lot of organizations are trying their best to increase their ‘greenness’. It is important to keep in mind though that given the current economic scenario, the economic benefit might turn out to be a bigger driver for companies to adopt green IT.
Adopting green IT, it seems, is now a matter of good business sense. There are two main reasons for this. One, the consumer being more aware, expects a company to be more environment-friendly and two, it never hurt anyone to achieve a higher level of productivity using the same or even less resources. The benefits of green IT come from the definition given above: low energy consumption means a decrease in power bills, energy efficiency means less resources being used, and environment friendly means a safer, greener planet, in addition to a better company image. Another benefit of green IT is an environment friendly workplace. Though many a ties the cost of green products may be higher, this being a big hurdle in the acceptance of green IT, the thing to keep in mind is that the return on such investment is higher.
Introducing green IT in an organization usually start with managing the power of computers (desktops and laptops) by putting them onto sleep mode when not in use, switching them off before leaving work etc. these simple steps go a long way in decreasing the harmful effects of IT on the environment.
Data centres usually get a lot of flak because of incrased awareness about their high power consumption, but companies are now putting this on high friendly and finding ways and means to reduce the power consumption per unit area in data centres by using technologies like blade servers, more efficient cooling solutions etc.
Another interesting aspect of greent IR, though many might not directly relate IT to it, is green buildings. Many IT companies are building LEED rated buildings and compuses. A green building basically takes sustainability into consideration right from the stage of construction, resulting in a structure that is not only energy-efficient after it is built, but also uses minimum energy resources while being made.
In the long run, an organization needs to focus on things like implementing green strategies, setting up rules and regulation, making sure that all the employees are on the same page and understand the need to follow theses, application optimization, collaborating with companies that offer green solutions etc.
There are several green IT standards in place around the world like Energy Star, ISO 14000/ISO 14001, Renewable Energy Certificates etc and it is heartening to see many IT companies in India going in for these certifications and standards.