Given the buzz about big data and conversations or confusion around clouds along with virtualizing virtually anything possible, Green IT has fallen off the Buzzword Bingo Bandwagon.

Green IT like so many other buzzwords and trends typically go through a hype cycle before getting tired, worn out, or disillusioned (see here and here). Often these buzzwords will go to Some Day Isle for some rest and recuperation before reappearing later as part of a second or third buzzword wave either making it to broad adoption which means the plateau of profitability (for vendors or vars) and productivity (for customers) or disappearing.

Some Day Isle for those not familiar with it is a visional or fictional place that some day you will go to, a wishful happy place so to speak that is perfect for hyperbole R and R. After some R and R, these trends, technologies or techniques often reappear well rested and ready for the next wave of buzz, FUD, hype and activity.

Some Day Isle via Air TahitiNui
Some Day Isle where technologies or trends go for R and R

Keep in mind that industry adoption (e.g. everybody is talking about it) can differ from industry deployment (e.g. some people have actually paid for, deployed and using the technology) to broad customer adoption (e.g. many people are actually paying for, deploying and using the technology on a routine basis).

Confusion still reigns around Green IT not surprising given the heavy dose of Green Washing that has occurred.

Consequently Green IT themes or pitches often fall on deaf ears as people have either become numb or ignore the Green washing hype or FUD. For example many people will skip reading this post because the word Green is in the title assuming that it is another CO2 or related themed piece missing out on the other themes or messages here. Unfortunately as I have discussed in the past, there remains a Green Gap that results in missed opportunities for vendors, vars, service providers, IT organizations along with those who would like to see environmental benefits or change.

Another example of a Green gap is messaging around energy avoidance as being efficient vs. using energy in a more productive or effective manner (doing more work with the same or fewer resources) shown in the figure below.

Tiered Storage
Expanding focus from energy avoidance to energy usage effectiveness

In routine conversations with IT professionals it is clear that the Green Gap and thus missed opportunities will continue for some time until the business and economic values of efficient, effective, smart and productive IT are understood to have environmental benefits as a by product and thus being Green. Watch for more missed messaging around CO2 and related themes popular with so called Greenies (or if you prefer environmentalists) that miss the mark with most business and IT organizations.

Business and thus IT are driven by economics and as such will invest where they can reduce complexity and costs, become more efficient and effective while increasing productivity and reducing waste by working smarter. In other words, by changing how information services are delivered in a smarter more effective efficient manner maximizes what resources are used enabling more to be done in a denser footprint (budget, people staffing, management, power, cooling, floor space) that have positive environmental benefits. Put another way, a benefit for IT organizations to remove complexity results in lower costs, by becoming more efficient and effective reducing waste results in better productivity and fewer missed opportunities meaning enhanced profits. The net result is that environmental concerns get a free ride or being funded as a result of IT organizations improving their productivity which of course should have a business benefit.

Efficient and Optimized IT Wheel of Oppourtunity
Wheel of Opportunity: Various techniques and technologies for infrastructure optimization

Efficient and effective IT (aka the other Green IT) that links to common technology and business issues with the benefit of helping the environment can be accomplished using a combination approaches. The approaches for enabling an efficient, effective, smarter and productive IT environment includes from a generic perspective various technologies, techniques and best practices shown in the wheel of opportunity figure.

For example:

Here are some related links for additional reading:

Also check out my book for enabling efficient, effective and smart IT The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC) including a free sample chapter download here.

Read more: