Going Green With Your IT Career

The Green IT Landscape and More

Green technology
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It seems that everywhere you turn these days, there's some sort of talk about going green. As environmental awareness increases, more companies are making an effort to incorporate eco-friendly practices.

The IT industry has not been immune to this trend; major tech companies such as IBM, Microsoft, and HP have been pushing the green agenda for a couple of years now with products, services, and strategies to cut power consumption and save money.

And there's some indication that the green IT trend is gaining serious traction among companies of various sizes.

So could some eco-friendly know-how help you advance your IT career? It very well could – but even if it doesn’t, at the very least you’ll be a more educated consumer! That’s a win-win.

The Green IT Landscape

Companies of all sizes are implementing green IT initiatives to lessen their global impact. One big player is Microsoft; this article by EWeek describes some of 2014’s eco-friendly trends at the company, which include a renewable energy power purchase agreement, an internal carbon fee, strides in cloud computing, and energy-smart technology in buildings and offices.

Small businesses can benefit significantly from pursuing sustainability as well. According to Forbes, “It’s easier than ever for small businesses to help the environment, save money and earn customer loyalty by going green.” The article continues on to suggest using the cloud, shop for green technology, and take steps to reduce carbon footprints.

The increasing number of IT companies committing to renewable energy has led to predictions that by 2020, the ICT (information and communication technology) sector may be getting almost half its power from renewable sources.

The Finances of Going Green

Thanks to government incentives, using green technology and energy does not have to be cost-prohibitive.

Specific programs and initiatives vary based on location, but this web page by the Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a good deal of information that may be particularly helpful to businesses hoping to sweeten the deal.

And once the initial changes are made and the technologies switched over, going green can save a lot of money in the long run, especially when it comes to energy costs. This article breaks down how much some corporate giants have saved by switching to a greener business model.

Clean Tech Skills In Demand

The one thing we can conclude is that green IT is not just a fad: it's here to stay, and it's on most organizations' radars.

While there may be some question as to how much money companies will be willing to fork out as they pursue green IT strategies, there are indications that most businesses are moving in the general direction of environmental friendliness, driven by cost-cutting requirements. It will only be a matter of time before green IT becomes "business as usual."

Below are a number of skills you can focus on acquiring if you want an edge in an increasingly eco-conscious IT job market:

  • Green procurement: ability to select the right energy-efficient equipment for your company

  • Knowledge of carbon reporting and offsetting

  • Server virtualization knowledge and experience

  • Server consolidation know-how

  • Knowledge of and experience with video conferencing

  • Familiarity with software-as-a-service and cloud-based computing

Conclusion

As it becomes ever-clearer that we need to get serious about taking care of our planet, it’s encouraging to see the IT industry taking a central role. Hopefully, the momentum we’re seeing now is only the beginning.