Leveraging Service Management to Achieve Sustainability Goals: A Case Study

Leveraging Service Management to Achieve Sustainability Goals: A Case Study

Mark S. Blanke (School of Management and Marketing, Kean University, Union, NJ, USA) and Thomas Abraham (School of Management and Marketing, Kean University, Union, NJ, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijissc.2014100104

Abstract

Information Technology can play a significant role in supporting and even driving sustainability strategies in an organization. However, many small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) often separate their “Green IT” initiatives from existing business and IT strategy. The authors describe how one SME used IT service management (ITSM) to clarify and improve their IT services and to integrate sustainability into the IT function. Their case provides a detailed description of ITSM and also shows that ITSM offers a framework for SMEs to integrate sustainability into the IT operations.
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2. Literature Review

Sustainability draws from work in many fields and a complete literature review is beyond the scope of this paper. The term triple bottom line (Elkington, 1997) is used to consider social and ecological factors in addition to economic ones, to better measure progress. There has been a broad breakdown of social responsibility in the recent past where gains were privatized and losses socialized (Friedman, 2009). By under- pricing the cost of carbon, producers of everything from oil to autos to toys allowed us to enjoy consuming today while socializing the costs and handing it off for future generations to pay. Information Technology (IT) contributes substantially to the problems of climate change and environmental destruction. It is estimated that IT uses three percent of global energy use and contributes three percent of the greenhouse gases (Ruth, 2009). Electronic waste includes toxins such as mercury and arsenic and is often exported to poorer countries where it is often disposed of improperly. IT though, also offers powerful solutions to the sustainability crisis. A new, emerging vision is to merge internet technologies with renewable energy technologies to create infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution where hundreds of millions of people share an energy internet (Rifkin, 2011).

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