Organizations of all types face mounting pressure from a growing array of interest groups to manage their operations more sustainably.
Organizations are being urged to minimize their negative effects on the environment, to pursue more ethical practices in their own and their suppliers’ workplaces, and to consider the long-term effects of their operations on the local economies where they do business. Many organizations respond defensively, viewing sustainability management as a potential drag on business results. But it need not be so. Smart organizations address sustainability proactively: they manage it like they would any other business challenge, and improve business results even as they “green” their operations.
Ovum’s coverage of Sustainability Technology spans two main areas:
- IT solutions that manage sustainability and profitability across the business:
- Industrial processes
- Building operations
- Green IT:
- Data center and desktop power consumption, power management
Central to our approach to sustainability is identifying the intersection points between making the business greener and more profitable.
2012 Research Themes
Market growth / enterprise adoption
Sustainability touches every industry, every geography, and every major vector of change in the IT industry, from Big Data to cloud computing to global sourcing and IT modernization. Pressure points on businesses are becoming more numerous and more acute. The result is a solution category that is set to explode – but much uncertainty remains as to best practices, vendor solution strategies, and enterprise adoption strategies. Primary survey data will illuminate sustainability solution adoption drivers, strategies, and results.
For many companies, half or more of their overall sustainability footprint lies in their supply and distribution chains, but no one has a clear end-to-end view. Vendors are steadily enhancing their solutions, but the problem itself grows more complex as supply chains become longer, resources become scarcer, and regulations proliferate. In one emerging solution model, companies outsource sustainability management to solution providers offering simplicity and guaranteed results.
One of the most promising technological innovations in the sustainability field is the emergence of powerful, inexpensive sensors that allow companies to instrument and gain visibility into equipment and processes that until now have been opaque. But the sensor explosion carries a potential risk: will billions of sensors produce so much data as to overwhelm companies’ storage and analytical capabilities, and their ability to integrate such data into maintenance and billing systems?
Data center and desktop power management
Explosive growth in data center capacity and energy consumption, and continued use of large fleets of desktop PCs, put a premium on power management technologies. For all the advances in this area, however, the IT industry still lacks a way to measure “useful work” against power consumption. In this research theme we explore how data center and desktop power management tools are evolving, the gaps that remain, and optimal strategies for both enterprises and data center providers.
Green IT adoption trends
Despite the economic downturn, Ovum primary research shows that the cost savings to be gained from greener, more energy- efficient IT hardware and software continue to drive investment in this area. This primary research will continue in 2012 to identify shifts in priorities, spending levels, and related considerations.
Mobile/consumer device efficiency
The proliferation of mobile devices and applications has contributed to the explosion of data that must be transmitted, analyzed, and stored, the electrical power required to do so, and a host of challenges around device provisioning, management, and security. This part of the IT landscape remains largely unmapped. In this research theme, Ovum explores the issues companies face in managing mobile devices across their lifecycle, with particular attention to the growing BYOD (bring your own device) approach that reduces initial enterprise costs but complicates the management challenges and may contribute to even faster growth in the amounts of energy consumed by mobile devices.