Fujitsu report shows decline in sustainable ITC activity

Fujitsu report shows decline in sustainable ITC activity

Is there an opportunity for resellers to build a sustainability consulting practice?

New Zealand organisations have slackened in an annual grading of ICT sustainability, along with the rest of the world, according to an annual survey of CIOs conducted on behalf of ICT services giant, Fujitsu.

According to the third edition of Fujitsu's Global Benchmark report, the ICT Index declined from a high of 56.4 in 2010, to 54.3 in 2011 and falling slightly to 53.1 this year.

New Zealand scored a 50.8 in 2012, a decline from 51.9 in 2011, and well below the average among 1200 surveyed senior managers and CIOs from eight countries, including Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan and the US.

Respondents were questioned on sustainability initiatives in a range of ITC practices including procurement, virtualisation, datacentre efficiency, networking, business process optimisation, and carbon and energy management tools for measurement and reporting.

According to the report, 4 percent of New Zealand organisations budgeted for power bills and managed power consumption, the same percentage as the year before, and well below the survey average of 23.1 percent.

The services giant, which offers an established practice built around ICT efficiency, says the figures may reflect the higher proportion of smaller organisations over larger enterprises that typically have the capacity to devote resources to such initiatives.

“We have a lot improvement to drive here,” says Jo Healey, Fujitsu’s managing director for New Zealand. “It’s more than power management and devices installed, that’s only a basic solution. Sustainability is not a project, it’s a programme and it’s something that requires a commitment form the organisation and requires a policy around it from an ITC point of view.”

Healey says she expects that some of the changes in how organisations manage and account for sustainability will come about from legislation and trends in markets that are considered more advanced in these areas. She points to an example in the European Union where there is a trend among ITC contracts to included a detailed sustainability component.

Government is already leading the way in New Zealand, according to Fujitsu’s report, which scored the government sector at 60 on its index, up from 58.4 last year.

No matter which sector may lead in the future to improve sustainability, there may be an opportunity for more resellers to build that into their consulting practice.

“There are some initial things they have to look at in starting to appoint responsibility,” says Healey. “That’s about intellectual property, and engagement with the customer’s business, and understanding exactly how IT impacts the energy bills.”

Resellers can also start by promoting efficiency standards, adding effective management of equipment, and migrating processes to the cloud.

“Not all resellers will be able to build a practice, or to build a sizeable sustainability practice, but we can work alongside resellers to help them understand the point where they are now and where they can migrate over time,” Healey adds. “One point of difference for us is that it is part of the company’s ethos.”

Globally, the silver lining in the report was a marked rise in the number of ICT departments that have total responsibility for ICT power bills and consumption, which was 23.1 percent of ICT departments, a jump from 14.2 percent in 2011. Unfortunately, New Zealand ranked last in this metric.

“Our team is finding that there are very few organisations that understand the cost of their power bills,” says Healey.

According to Healey, Fujitsu’s sustainability practice includes an inventory of ICT assets, a survey on usage, power usage analysis, and greenhouse emission studies to develop a sustainability baseline, followed by a study of what the organisation can do tactically and strategically to cut costs over time.

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