So You Want To Go Green? Where Do You Start?
So you’ve decided that Going Green makes sense for your business. Whether it’s the Return on Investment proposition, doing your part to consume fewer resources, a sense of social consciousness, or a mandate from your vendors or customers, you’ve concluded that it’s time to start. What are you going to do?
There will be countless organizations telling you to buy this or that product, join our club, or subscribe to our service. That approach may work, but wandering through the pasture picking up a little green here or there is a little short sighted. What I advocate is taking a little time to build a plan. Mapping out a strategy is going to allow you to align your goals with the actions you take. It allows you to budget your time and treasure and monitor the benefits of your green strategy. Keep in mind that any sized organization can participate and any can reap benefits, but as the saying goes, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”
Over my next few blogs, I’ll share a series of steps that you can follow to build your Green Business Plan. Because our expertise is Green Information Technology, the plan I’m offering if focused on technology. That said, the first two (2) steps involve Assessment.
1. Information Technology Assessment
Any project where the ultimate goal is to reduce costs, generate a Return on Investment, reduce waste and increase operational efficiency must begin with a detailed assessment of what you have. An inventory will highlight redundant and poorly utilized equipment. It will also establish a baseline that you can measure against. In addition, yours must include a financial baseline that includes your operational costs. These costs include power consumption, maintenance and support costs on a per-device basis, and spare part/replacement expenses.
2. Operations and Facility Assessment
Most organizations spend the majority of the IT budget on facility and operational expense. It has been estimated that the average business spends only about 30% of their IT budget on software and equipment. This assessment should include a thorough review of each data center, heating and cooling, and manpower costs. Has your IT team collaborated with your physical plant team? Do they know what facility resources you require and have they had the opportunity to help optimize your use? Rightsizing your datacenter, or using a collocation facility, can have a profound impact on your annual IT expenses.
My next blog will outline your next two steps. If you’re unsure on how to proceed with the Assessments, please feel to contact me.
-Tim Krueger, PEI