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Health check on Green and Sustainable IT Infrastructure and Operations Maturity

by Bettina Tratz-Ryan  |  March 15, 2013  |  Comments Off on Health check on Green and Sustainable IT Infrastructure and Operations Maturity

Ever wonder how green holistic IT operations really are? How your customers are integrating green performance measurements into their procurement requirements? In a world of stack rankings and sustainability competitions, it is very important to identify the maturity of the framework, the consistency of the measurements, and the impact of how organizations are integrating this methodology in their IT procurement and strategic operations management.  Assessment benchmarks such as energy consumption, carbon measurements, electronic waste, and asset life cycle management are standard sustainability business performance metrics, but the understanding  the context of the metrics within different processes, replacement cycles, or virtualization models are key to determine the commitment level of the vendor, or the end user organization.

Gartner’s Toolkit: Maturity Assessment for Green and Sustainable Infrastructure and Operations goes a step further. The toolkit provides a “health check” setting a level ground on the Green DNA of a company in order to build a consistent and outcome-oriented sustainability strategy. Sustainability reporting tools often measure the lowest common denominator because that is what on an operational level, everybody can pull from infrastructure data points. There are effective reporting assessments such as GRI Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)  and carbon disclosure Carbon Disclosure Project which helps in this quest, but they are far from helping organizations to establish and manage an effective environmental sustainability strategy.  Establishing the maturity of the implementations generates a knowledge exchange between programmes that work and processes that can be improved.  Key is to develop a guideline with process owners that are defining technology and solutions benchmarks while taking responsibility for execution. Transparency and communications of this maturity serve internal and external communications goals, to develop brand and thought leadership or internally to justify projects and to apply consistent training and communications to employees, supply chain and stakeholders.

Many procurement agreements especially in public sector include the assessment of environmental impact of products and services. The European Commission green procurement guideline as well as the ITU Guidelines on Green ICT procurement show the need for vendors to develop transparent reporting of their product and service life cycles and communicate those in lock-step with their customer’s sustainability maturity level.  Gartner hosts on April 9, 2013 at 11 am EST a Webinar on the Maturity Model for Sustainability in IT Infrastructure and Operations, discussing the maturity levels, roadmap of implementation as well as the impact for the vendor community. Environmental management is part of corporate social responsibility (CSR), but has a different impact on the business. CSR will shape brand while proof compliance, while environmental sustainability will shape the business environment, innovation and competitiveness.  Both are needed and require a consistent management and execution framework. It is more than just a project.

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Tags: green-it  innovation  it-maturity  procurement  strategy  sustainability  

Bettina Tratz-Ryan
Research VP
14 years with Gartner
17 years in IT industry

Bettina Tratz-Ryan is a research vice president in Gartner Research, leading the research agenda for environmental sustainabity that is developing recommendations for technology and service vendors and software providers worldwide. Read Full Bio

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