By: Simon Perry, Principal Associate Analyst - Sustainability, Quocirca (Moved)
Published: 30th September 2008
Copyright Quocirca © 2008
In an increasing number of conversations Quocirca has with technology professionals it is becoming clearer that more and more people fundamentally get the problem of climate change. This is true for professionals working for both vendors and user organisations. A commonly-expressed sentiment is a sense of frustration that their current employers aren't taking the issue seriously enough, and taking the appropriate level of action.
Technologists are by nature methodical and analytical people who rely on facts as a basis for decision making. Of course they are human too with all the associated emotional foibles, but generally speaking technologists are pragmatic and scientific in approach. Many say that they have examined the facts behind climate change, have weighed up the risks, and are convinced that action needs to be taken, and quickly.
Not surprisingly many of those people see the application of technology as being a potential solution. To some extent this is a view that Quocirca also holds—though with the caveat that the IT industry has an unfortunate history of overestimating its capabilities. Current efforts towards achieving maximum efficiency in the use of electricity in the datacentre are laudable, and we are also seeing innovative developments in hardware and software that will assist a transition toward a lower-carbon economic model. That said, we are clearly only at the beginning of a long journey towards meeting the necessary emissions cuts, which will include far-reaching changes in business models. Technology will play a number of important roles in enabling those changes, however it is unlikely there is a simple techno-fix.
Many technologists also recognise that this issue is therefore fundamentally a business problem, over and above being a technology problem. Therein lays the root of the sense of frustration that many express. As IT professionals they have a track record of providing innovative solutions to business problems. However, in this case many see a leadership vacuum and a failure of action at the business management level. When that occurs there is a problem.
Even as the economy falters, global financial systems unravel, and consumer confidence is undermined, many of those frustrated IT professionals confess that they are actively considering a job change. Their sense of frustration over the lack of action from their current employers on the issue of climate change is enough for them to be motivated to jump jobs. Those with strong skills and innovative ideas will have the confidence to move to an employer which is willing to listen and put those ideas into action.
The winners in this cycle will be those vendors and employers that are demonstrating leadership toward action on climate change, as they are finding no shortage of skilled people who are also highly motivated to help the business strategy succeed. Perhaps if that helps a company succeed which is committed to reducing its own emissions footprint and to providing assistance and solutions that help other businesses do the same, then we are all winners. One senses that something very important is stirring down in the IT industry.
Posted: 3rd October 2008 | By Steve Burrows :
A few thoughts arise -
Some of us have been buying lower energy consumption systems for years - we pay for our energy consumption so it makes good sense.
Many of us are fed up with the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the doomsayers who have only just caught on to their responsibility to conserve resources - including energy. Sorry guys, but the fact that you have just had some Damascene conversion doesn't give you the right to preach to the rest of us who got the message years ago.
The hype being whipped up by the technology vendors on this issue is neither helpful nor honest - it has nothing to do with social responsibility or corporate responsibility, and everything to do with encouraging premature equipment churn - a major cause of resource waste in itself.
Action on Climate Change is not a Business Strategy. It may be a Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy, for those businesses who cannot imagine more direct and meaningful ways to fulfil their CSR obligations, but it isn't a Business Strategy. Saving money through reduced energy consumption is a Business Strategy, and a good one, so let's all get on with it, but stop pretending that Action on Climate Change is about business - it ain't, it's about hype, spin, PR, CSR etc. The business benefit is simple - reduced costs/more profit - no one needs any better reason than that to go ahead and act on it, and anyone who hasn't been taking it into account in their prior purchasing decisions (and thereby directly influencing their suppliers) has been irresponsible in the execution of their duties to their business.
And don't get me started on MMGW ;-)
Posted: 12th November 2008 | By HairyMan :
Not bad... Not bad.
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