Among these green IT projects was the importance of participation from end-users and corporate leaders alike. Generating that support and involvement takes some effort. Aramark, for example, removed a host of personal printers and deployed shared MFPs. That represented a change to which end-users had to adjust -- and which they were more willing to accept when they understood the benefits. "We learned that explaining the business case and the green aspects made people much more accepting of the new processes," said David Kaufman, CIO of Aramark's global food and facility services business.
GlaxoSmithKline engaged users in a mass e-waste cleanup effort through a targeted communications campaign. "We launched an internal marketing and communication campaign two weeks prior to implementation, using all methods and resources available to us to raise awareness. We had posted news articles on the site intranet home page, posters and signs displayed in strategic areas of the building," said Armin Jahromi, GSK's regional service manager for IT user services. "A critical key to successful communication is to get your target to take notice and care."
Keeping end-users informed helps ease the transition, a lesson learned by Rich Avila, director of server operations and system support at California State University East Bay. The school launched a massive virtualization and consolidation effort last year. "We informed our users that over the spring and summer of 2008 we would be migrating their equipment to a virtual server and provided them with specific dates. If there was an objection to the date, operations negotiated a new target date while making it clear to our user groups that we needed their cooperation in helping solve our power and environmental problems," Avila said. "We found overall that users were extremely cooperative and that the transition was pretty painless once the migration was started."
Measure the results
Yet another lesson: Measure and report results to earn that all-important support from end-users, execs, and shareholders. "It's extremely important to capture and report progress metrics," said Maureen O'Donnell, internal controls manager for information solutions at Raytheon's Network Centric Systems business unit. "Metrics reporting was challenging to establish, but had a great impact on culture change because it created enterprise-wide visibility into the significant gains achieved from the sustainability strategy."