Rolling up your sleeves
OK, so that may not be rocket science. The challenge, again, is pinpointing what areas in your organization to assess in the first place. The datacenter (if you have one) is an obvious place to start, given the high rate of inefficiency commonly observed in these facilities, thanks to underutilized servers, insufficient airflow, overcooling, and the like. Additionally, the overall management of your organization's facilities -- lighting and cooling, for example -- is a target for greening through building management systems.
But greening opportunities in the datacenter merely scratch the surface. There's also the desktop, where PCs and monitors often spend hours turned on but doing no work. Then there are the print rooms and stations where piles of single-sided, full-color prints end up abandoned and tossed in the recycling bin. There's the room no one likes to enter that's brimming with outdated computers, monitors, peripherals, and the like.
The aforementioned areas -- the datacenter, facilities, and distributed IT -- fall under the category of Green IT 1.0 in Forrester vernacular. The overseer of green IT initiatives should also assess progress and opportunities in the realm of Green IT 2.0, which includes business processes and strategy, encompassing technologies such as videoconferencing, teleconferencing, telecommuting, carbon management, and supply-chain optimization. A step beyond that (which may not be on most companies' radar at the moment) includes public policy and infrastructure, which comprises the smart grid, green cities, and climate change policies.
Forrester's "green IT maturity assessment" plan first entails setting a baseline by tracking down what green-tech projects are (or are not) under way, as well as the depth of those projects: "for example, powering down only 40 percent of your PCs versus 80 percent, or having server utilization rates at 20 percent versus 50 percent."
Forrester shows a sample checklist of potential project categories and subcategories, each of which would be rated as "needs improvement," "improving," "robust," or "best in class." Categories might include Datacenter, Distributed IT, and Business Operations. Subcategories might include under Process and Governance, for example, "green IT action plan," "regulatory compliance reporting," "green IT procurement policies," "e-waste disposition plan," and others. Under the category of Datacenter are subcategories such as "facility consolidation and resource efficiency," "optimizing datacenter architecture," "systems and asset management," "server energy and resource efficiency," and "application portfolio management."