The IT industry is adopting the ideals and practices of sustainable businesses because it makes sense -- and cents -- for both the environment and the bottom line. Green computing can save midmarket CIOs and their organizations time, energy and money while also letting them do their part to protect the planet.
Green IT is an environmentally responsible strategy that can be reached via many channels, such as employing alternative energy or simply powering down central processing units at night. We've gathered a bunch of actionable ideas to help your midmarket organization go green. Not only will your children's children thank you, but your board of directors will, too.
This guide is part of SearchCIO-Midmarket.com's Midmarket CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.
Table of contents:
CIO ideas for going green
Midmarket CIOs can reduce their company's carbon footprint by implementing green IT strategies, and green game plans are a great investment with some extra incentives. In this expert tip, contributor Jonathan Hassell delineates the benefits of becoming an environmentally sustainable business and provides more steps for CIOs of eco-friendly companies.
CIOs must be prepared to spend millions up front in order to save on electricity bills down the line, Hassell says. Sustainable businesses are not just about constructing top-of-the-line, power-smart facilities. For instance, CIOs can get started by simply implementing tools that automatically turn off desktops, monitors and printers at night, or at least put them to sleep.
Don't pursue green at the risk of violating compliance mandates, Hassell warns. For example, although cloud computing cuts travel costs and reduces energy consumption, it's in the best interest of some highly regulated industries to run email and collaboration software in-house.
Read the full tip from Jonathan Hassell on how green CIOs can run sustainable businesses.
Video tutorial for building sustainable businesses
Get more ideas for going green from these IT experts.
Bottom-line green benefits for CIOs
Green IT drives both financial and environmental benefits -- when a CIO goes green, he saves some green, too. IT expert Scott Lowe has loads of ideas for sustainable businesses looking to go green. For instance, today's market is producing materials and software that function with fewer cables and less communication equipment. By operating less hardware, less power is used, the airflow in the data center is better -- and the environment is greener.
Virtual desktop infrastructure is a popular choice for eco-friendly companies, as VDI runs multiple workloads on one server. But Lowe advises CIOs to analyze their specific needs before moving forward with VDI initiatives. To go even greener, hybridize solid and rotating disks for maximum performance and a direct savings on the energy bill.
Read the full tip by Scott Lowe on how CIOs can reap benefits from green technology solutions.
A glossary of green IT terms
Catch up on the latest terminology in the world of green IT.
3D printing technology offers green value
When looking to go green, do more with less advises IT expert and author Phil Simon. In this tip, Simon explores additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. He recently watched a demo of a 3D printer that spit out an actual, playable guitar. His first reaction? "Wow!" His second reaction: "How is that even possible?"
We won't be "printing" TVs or even sofas anytime soon, Simon emphasizes. However, if you think that your office printers today will resemble your printers in 20 years, you're mistaken.
Read the full tip from Phil Simon to learn more about 3D printing and its challenges.
Building sustainable businesses: Have you got what it takes?
In today's economy, CIOs must find ways for the IT organization to drive value back to the business, so they're being called on to lead the way in their companies' efforts to become sustainable businesses. Green computing technologies not only help reduce a company's carbon footprint but also usually have a positive effect on the bottom line. Sustainable businesses are leading the way in implementing cutting-edge technologies in the areas of data center cooling, electronics waste reduction and peripheral energy savings.
We've loaded you up with eco-friendly tips and advice on the practices promoted by sustainable businesses, and here's your chance to show us how much you learned. From greenwashing to cloud computing, test your knowledge with our quiz on sustainable business practices. Unlike the SATs, we've got your back on the tough questions: Just click on the links within the questions to re-read our experts' stories and refresh your memory.