Green IT consulting services are poised to blossom into a lucrative business in coming years as companies worldwide grapple with expanding carbon footprints, spiraling energy bills, and other eco-oriented woes.
Such is the prediction of a report released by Forrester this week titled "The Dawn of Green IT Services," which projects that the overall market for green IT services will peak at $4.8 billion in 2013.
For now, green IT consulting services aren't booming: All told, it's a $500 million market for 2008. When asked if they'd enlisted outside providers to assist in the planning and implementation of green IT policies and practices, just six percent of respondents to a Forrester survey said they had. Another six percent said they were planning to while 18 percent indicated they were considering hiring one.
Nevertheless, given the momentum of the green movement that's reshaping organizations worldwide, Forrester expects that spending on green IT services among enterprise users will grow by an impressive 60 percent annually over the next five years.
The report predicts companies such as Dell, HP, Sun, and Intel will gain some traction in the market as they offer services around datacenter energy efficiency. However, "the long-run winners in this market will bring a holistic perspective to clients looking to incorporate IT into a corporate-wide effort to improve environmental responsibility. Such an approach is being pioneered by services providers like Accenture, Deloitte, [IBM], and EDS," the report says.
The Forrester report also provides a useful guide to understanding how green IT consulting services work, breaking the process down into three interlocking phases: assessment, planning, and implementation. The assessment process entails "creating a baseline of energy usage and carbon footprint and sketch an overall approach to green IT including ROI."
The planning phase (done by 50 percent of the clients that undergo the assessment process, according to the report), entails "developing detailed roadmaps for specific green IT initiatives like procurement, datacenter optimization, and recycling."
The final stage is implementation, a step undertaken by 75 percent of clients that go through the planning process. Here, customers "choose and implement specific technologies for virtualization, power and cooling, systems management, etc."
Additionally, the report gives a granular breakdown as to what specific green IT consulting services various companies can offer through all three of the aforementioned phases. Accenture appears to be at the top of the heap, offering full services from planning to implementation. Among the high-tech heavyweights, IBM appear to offer the most services.
"The Dawn of Green IT Services" is available for $279 from the Forrester Web site.