How Green Is My Valley - Not

How Green Is My Valley - Not

Some brown spots are appearing on IT’s new green leaf

At the risk of incurring the wrath of some 100 plus members of the Greed Grid consortium and hundreds, if not thousands, of pundits, consultants, analysts and other purveyors of expertise, I have to ask a question: Does anyone else agree with me that Green IT may be the biggest non-event of 2007?

Frankly I think Green IT has reached a point where, much like Benjamin Franklin's observation about the weather (and pun intended), "Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it".

Now before you rush to send me a scathing e-mail, I want to make two statements and one confession:

  1. I believe Green IT is important

  2. I know that the majority of vendors are committed to delivering greener solutions, which is commendable.

  3. I jumped on the Green IT bandwagon at the beginning of the year, which saw this magazine run numerous articles and launch the Green CIO conference.

But like many an impassioned convert, the veil fell from my eyes as I searched and searched for answers and green redemption.

My first indicator that perhaps all was not well were the "Steps to Green IT" lists: They are myriad - and all the same. Sure one list puts "implement virtualization" at step four, while another puts it at seven, but enlightenment it ain't.

My BS detector starting moving to orange with arrival of Green IT reports and action plans (usually at a cost), which included such insightful observations as: set a goal, assess the situation, work with other departments, establish some quick wins and develop a communication plan (oh, and remember change management is an issue). Okay, so why are those steps any different to those in any other project? Pull up your project plan for any roll-out in the past, do a search and replace and presto you've got your Green IT action plan without forking out any cash.

But true BS red zone frustration came, along with ultimate disillusionment, when it became obvious that locally we're once again being inundated with solutions that are based on overseas models and metrics. Well, sure that helps a lot - especially since moving your data centre closer to Canada isn't an option for most local CIOs.

Okay, after asking that you not rush to send me e-mails, I'm now asking that you do, but with a couple of caveats. If you're a vendor, I really, really don't care about your commitment to Green IT. I don't want your marketing gumpf. Send me an e-mail with some solid information. If you're a CIO who has succeeded with a green initiative (beyond the usual "Five steps to green IT"), then please share it.

I do want green salvation. I do, I do. I'm just beginning to think I found green religion too early, and could have had a bit more fun if I had waited until I was closer to the Pearly - or in this case, Emerald - Gates.

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