Changing Role of IT in Sustaining the Organization

If you're a part of an IT department, chances are that you are being asked to take part in a relatively new conversation. For lack of a better term, the buzzword that is being bounced around the executive suite is "sustainability," which covers everything from how your company responds to a disaster to how much carbon your operations are throwing off into the environment.

Before too long, the sustainability issue quickly moves from the strategic to the tactical, with a focus on reducing the amount of energy consumed by the organization. And, of course, high on the list of issues associated with power consumption is all the wattage being consumed by everything from the data center on down to the printers that never ever seem to be turned off.
As we all know, this is a hard currency issue. As the price of power continues to rise, corporate management notes its effect on the bottom line, and IT people are frequently required to come to terms with long-term nemeses in their organizations such as the facilities manager. The goal is: reducing the power footprint of their data centers to both lower the cost of running the data center and reduce the amount of carbon their companies throw off into the environment.

Whatever the outcome of all this newfound concern for sustainability, the one thing that is clear is that business executives are going to be asking their IT departments to be a lot more knowledgeable about a whole range of business issues that, at first glance, may seem a little remote. But upon closer review, it's becoming pretty clear that there is no business process today that isn't in some way driven by an IT system.