What's the deal with Green IT?
Green IT is all about the IT community being socially responsible with regards to their infrastructure and the applications contained therein.
So you might ask? Is this really important in this pressurized world of hi expectations, and more and more rapid changing business models and faster deliveries.
I believe it is. Green IT can and should be one of the guiding tenants of organizations. We, as both IT professionals and members of a broader global community need to act responsibly with regards to the environment. And just as good. By acting responsibly towards the environment we also can help our organizations meet their goals more effectively.
You might wonder if the business of software really uses environmental resources? Many of us would view that software already limits the environmental impact of business. For example, by teleconferencing instead of travel which uses fossil fuels as an example.
But there is much more we can do
How can we all participate in Green IT?. I'll start with a few examples below:
1. Understand how the hardware your applications run on consume power. The box consumption itself, but also the consumption of the supporting infrastructure around that box and the power usage for that support. For example, the space that the hardware takes up, air conditioning, power the people who support that box use, power the underlying applications and backups, restores, monitoring etc., uses.
2. Build more information into your applications. For example, if more information can be presented with "same" or less file IO's, and other usage of the CPU, we save.
3. Use efficient operating systems and languages. When the running code does more efficent and less processing, the application is more energy efficient. For example, look to use compiled / tuned languages and highly effecient transaction processors. Look for those that do more with less code - both code you write and executables you run.
4. Make performance analysis a critical milestone in your delivery cycles.
5. Reuse code and processing when you can. Less duplication equates to less resources.
6. Make Green a a part of your corporate and IT vision statements. Also make Green a part of requirements review, application design, and maintenance change reviews.
7. Evaluate collaboration possibilities - and software - to improve efficiencies. Less travel, conference calls, etc. can not only help us save but also can make us more productive in focusing us on what we really do. Delivering code that can add profit and cut costs..
8. In the end, write more applications that at least in part can save more of the resources the rest of your companies use. This ultimately might be the biggest impact you can make.
At the end of the day, we all win.