A Comprehensive and Practical Green ICT Framework

A Comprehensive and Practical Green ICT Framework

Graeme Philipson (Connection Research, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-834-6.ch009
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Most user organizations are implementing Green ICT to some extent. Some have adopted a deliberate policy, others are implementing it piecemeal as their ICT systems evolve. But many of them have not properly defined Green ICT, which means they cannot properly identify which areas to address. A comprehensive and practical Green ICT framework helps overcome this problem. Such a Green ICT framework can also provide metrics and measurements to guide its progress and ascertain its success. Measurement is important, because it enables benchmarking and comparisons, by quantifying the degree of implementation of Green ICT. User organizations can then be compared to each other, or to themselves over time, to determine the extent and effectiveness of their Green ICT strategies. A Green ICT framework can also enable different industry sectors and even nations to be compared.This chapter outlines a research-based yet highly practical Green ICT framework. My organization, Envirability has developed this framework in conjunction with RMIT University. It is based on a 4 x 5 matrix with four vertical “pillars”: Lifecycle, End User IT, Enterprise and Data Center IT, and IT as a Low-Carbon Enabler. Each pillar lends itself to a five-level Capability Maturity Model metric which can be based on a detailed survey of the organization’s policies and practices in each area. The five horizontal dimensions, or “actions” are applied across the four pillars: Attitude, Policies, Practices, Technologies and Metrics This chapter presents the framework and also outlines an approach to applying the framework to an organization to measure its Green ICT maturity by benchmarking its Green ICT activities. (Note to editor – abstract contains all terms to be indexed)
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Why Is Green Ict Important?

Green ICT is becoming an important issue for many reasons that directly affect organizations. This influence is not merely limited to being a good corporate citizen. Green ICT has the potential to positively influence the organization’s bottom line. Consider, for example, the cost of data center power. These power expenses are soaring as electricity prices go up and new server technologies pack more and more processors, which consume more and more power, into less and less space (Koomey, 2007). Data centers form an integral and vital part of an organization’s overall strategy for reducing carbon emissions. DeCoufle (2010) discusses in detail the importance of the green grid as a glue holding data centre energy efficiency together. A separate dedicated track on Green ICT at the a recent conference on Data Centre management (http://www.dcgtasia.com also focused on the emissions of a data centre. Reducing the carbon emissions of a data center has the same positive value as reducing the operating expense of that data center. Therefore, the importance of Green ICT permeates all aspects of the organization.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Green ICT Readiness Index: A Green ICT benchmarking and analysis tool developed by Envirability to allow the different aspects of an organization’s Green ICT implementation to be measured, and compared to other organizations, industry norms, or the one organization over time. Uses a modified Capability Maturity Model (CMM) to measure behaviors and actions.

Taxonomy: A system of categorization. Often, but not always, hierarchical.

Green ICT Framework: A taxonomy that takes the many different components of Green ICT and relates them to each other.

Green ICT: The use of technologies and techniques to lower (or reduce the rate of increase of) the power consumption or carbon footprint of the ICT function. In its broader sense, it also addresses the use of ICT as an enabling technology to help reduce power consumption or the carbon footprint outside of the ICT function.

Benchmarking: A technique for quantifying, measuring and comparing the performance of an organization in a defined area. The comparison is typically made against other organizations of a similar size or industry, or against a broader average. It is also useful for comparing an organizations performance to itself over time, to measure whether it is improving – or not.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): A concept popularized in the 1990s by research consultancy Gartner, based on calculating the full cost of ICT equipment over its entire life, not just the purchase price. It takes into account running costs, maintenance, upgrades, etc.

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