IBM joins green IT movement
Going green isn’t just environmentally considerate anymore. In fact, these days, it’s downright trendy. Businesses of all sizes are joining in on the trend, and IBM is no exception. Earlier this week the computer technology superstar released several new software applications and services targeted to help businesses cut energy consumption by more than 35%. When the U.S. Department of Energy has forecasted that energy costs are expected to rise by 57% over the next 25 years, the idea that IBM could decrease energy usage by a significant number makes our techie hearts ache just a little. The new solutions include: * Combined capabilities of Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager software and Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management. This will allow manufacturers to collect energy and power consumption data from across the organization and determine how energy can be consumed more efficiently. * Lotus Notes 8.5 and Lotus Domino that will allow organizations to reduce paper consumption by 80-90%. Like a lot of companies we've reviewed recently, IBM is committed to helping companies to move to a paperless environment. Bryant University has been implementing the new software and has already seen a 15% savings in facility overhead and power and cooling costs. * IBM Premier Business Partner Enterprise Information Management Inc. (EIM) and C-Look Technology Inc. have jointly developed new software that can serve as a gas meter. Called GreenCert, this software will allow organizations to measure, verify and report Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions with an emphasis on carbon management. Power and utility plants in both the U.S. and Europe are currently testing it.

More Solutions and Why You Shouldn’t Chase Paper

You don’t need us to tell you this, but we’re going to anyway. The world is dyin’ folks, and with more people on the planet each year, we’re not headed in an uphill direction, when it comes to natural resources and a healthy environment. The use of paper for records and business transactions has already begun to challenge our environment and it definitely weighs down organizations with related costs and compliance risks. A recent IBM's No Paper Weight study indicates that when companies stop printing their “born digital” documents, paper consumption can be reduced between 80-90%. Think of the magic that what would happen if everyone could cut down 90% of their printed documents. That’s huge. In an effort to make this happen, new IBM Content Collection and Archiving software provides services that help reduce customers’ storage and electronic discovery costs, while simultaneously helping customers to manage e-mails and integrate to a common Enterprise Content Management infrastructure to manage other content types. Additionally, the newest version of IBM FileNet Business Process Manager also helps customers in their move to a paperless environment by streamlining business processes and killing off unnecessary paper trails entirely. Hot on the heels of IBM’s effort to save the planet, their business partner Imagine Solutions is also launching a paperless solution for lenders. Designed to help reduce underwriting costs and improve loan approval processing, the new solution is reported to save in excess of US$ 75.00 per loan.

These Guys Are Serious: Even. More. Solutions.

Included in the effort and available immediately is IBM’s brand new Rational Test Lab Manager. Rational Test Lab Manager builds, configures and effectively manages the use of both physical and virtual machines. This will help conserve energy and reduce hardware demands and operating costs. Available later this year is Telelogic System Architect’s new analytics and reporting capabilities. The new Telelogic System Architect features provide analysis and virtualization of current and future power consumption by location, application, processes, strategies and staff, while executive reports help organizations plan greener IT initiatives. Think: a blueprint for energy impact analysis per organization.

Need Guidance? IBM Has a Solution for That, Too

A new Energy and Environment Assessment Tool is available for free online, and analyzes the current status of an organization and recommends steps that can be taken to address issues such as, you guessed it, compliance mandates, the reduction of paper use, and improving energy efficiency.

The Future of IBM and IT: Yeah, Another Solution

IBM also plans to launch an entire program aimed to assist Business Partners and software developers in creating new solutions to save energy. The program includes workshops (how cute is an energy saving workshop for techies, by the way?), IBM technical support and access to IBM technology delivered through the worldwide network of more than 40 IBM Innovation Centers. Regardless of all the changes for a better environment from the smaller guys, IT has a pretty bad reputation when it comes to energy usage. But with effort as thorough from a company as huge as IBM, through not only software but actual hands-on help, we think there’s a good chance that not just more companies, but more people, will wake up and smell the precipice. Want to save the planet? Get more details about IBM's green initiatives here.