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 Feature
29 January 2010 | Aidan Mills Blog
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This Virtual World
This week Aidan looks at why our methods and processes for IT and Business should be developed with environmental protection and sustainability in mind...

  Aidan Mills B.Sc, MBCS, PMP

For this blog I will initially move my focus slightly away from methods and processes.  It starts as something of a ’virtual blog’. But fear not, read to the end and you will see that I come back to roost in my comfort zone of methods and processes for IT and Business.

My intention in writing this blog is to (re)focus us all, in these cost-conscious times, on the global environmental crisis.

My thoughts on this matter were prompted whilst watching adverts on TV over the last few weeks.  Many were marketing new PC games and other new media products. Delivering more and more virtual worlds in which many of us, especially our younger generations, now live. 

These products hold little appeal for me, I much prefer the reality of a walk in the local park or going farther afield on weekend outings in the countryside.  And of course, many people share these ways of spending free time.  But many do not.

The point is that many younger people and certainly our youngest generations are becoming somewhat removed from the real world, both personally and professionally.  They spend countless hours:-

  • Working on PC’s or laptops in their jobs,
  • Watching ’reality’ TV at home (which by the way is in my opinion quite removed from reality!),
  • Chatting with friends via the Internet,
  • Playing PC games,
  • Texting each other using mobile ’phones.

They easily forget that other creatures live alongside us on this planet.  They, even more easily than  (slightly) older generations, cannot comprehend that we humans are currently consuming raw materials at a rate which would require almost five planet Earths to sustain us.

We must act now to ensure that every piece of IT infrastructure, every method and process we use, is engineered or developed with environmental protection and sustainability in mind.

ITIL V4 for example must contain detailed information in every section which explains how to achieve environmental sustainability from IT resources.  Project Management and Lean methods should be modified to ensure a focus not just on least cost but on limiting environmental impact.

And lastly, my plea to you all is that we should immediately modify our current internal paradigm, hammered into most of us for decades now. Instead of thinking about the ’Cost/Quality/Timescale’ Triangle, let’s make it instead the ’Cost/Quality/Timescale/Environmental Impact’ Square. You heard it here first!

If you are further interested in ’Green IT’, there are many independent companies offering consultancy, equipment and services which can help you as a private IT user or commercial organisation to achieve environmental friendliness and sustainability, not just from your IT but from your entire commercial process. Also many governmental bodies are ready and willing to assist. Simply go surfing on the web and you will find them.  For professional reasons, I cannot name any of them here :)

I look forward to reading your comments about the environmentally friendly (or unfriendly) use of IT in yours or other organisations, or moreover about successes you have had limiting environmental impact in any way. 

Let’s all start to take concrete actions in every area of our lives, personal and professional, to contribute in quantifiable ways towards saving and sustaining our planet.

Any feedback and comments are always welcome!!


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