which Government ICT suppliers will be auditedagainst. This will oblige ICT providers to comply withsupply chain environmental standards and to provideGovernment with regular sustainability reports inrelation to their supply chains. These reports will include supply chain energy costs,ICT disposal and approaches to service delivery, therebycreating greater transparency around the whole lifecycle costs of ICT and its impacts. ICT suppliers will alsobe encouraged by the Government's intention to makeitself a less complex customer for ICT providers, therebyenabling a fairer and more competitive market forpotential suppliers.A key aspect of the ICT strategy is its support of thegreen credentials of cloud computing, providingsuppliers of cloud services with a huge opportunity. Anumber of Government departments have alreadymoved across to a cloud ICT platform and once theGreening Government ICT Strategy and the publicsector cuts take hold, the demand from Governmentfor cloud computing is expected to increase further. However, with the Government's adoption of the EUCode of Conduct for Data Centres, which is a positivestep forward bearing in mind the significant energyand cooling requirements of data centres, managedservice/cloud computing providers will need tocomply with this Code if they are to serviceGovernment departments.In addition, ICT suppliers should be encouraged bythe strategy's recommendations for the adoption ofgreen technologies. It highlights the importance ofintroducing green technologies into governmentdepartments including those that can enable mobileworking, paperless operations and improvedcollaboration. There are a number of technologiesalready in existence which can assist here such aselectronic document management, workflow softwareand collaborative budgeting and forecasting software,delivering significant opportunities for providers ofthese solutions. Public sector organisations that are using thesetechnologies are already experiencing a range ofenvironmental and efficiency benefits. For example,Cornwall College which is now circulating 100,000documents electronically using Version One'sdocument imaging software together with AdvancedBusiness Solutions' workflow software. Thesesolutions will prove key to the College's goal ofbecoming as paperless as possible.POTENTIAL CONCERNS FOR ICTPROVIDERSThere is no denying that the Greening GovernmentICT Strategy is a positive step. However, there are afew concerns that need addressing by Government.The strategy recommends that departments shouldextend the use of technologies for as long as possibleand re-use/re-furbish devices where possible. Environmentally speaking this is a positive step,however extending the life of technologies couldresult in Government falling behind in its deploymentof new, innovative and perhaps greener solutions.Extending the life of technologies must therefore beconsidered in context. Importantly, the strategy needs to remember what ICTis delivering and not lose sight of this when the impactof ICT is being measured. For example, theintroduction of a video conferencing facility mightincrease a department's energy use, however it willalso be reducing car, train and plane journeys therebyenabling a significant departmental-wide reduction incarbon emissions. Finally, the introduction of the ICT strategy and theresulting outcomes and targets cannot be just anotherset of rules and regulations that Government and theICT industry will need to comply with. The ICT strategyneeds to replace existing departmental charters toavoid confusion and endless red tape.THE FAR-REACHING IMPACT OF THESTRATEGYGovernment departments and suppliers of ICT toGovernment are directly impacted by the GreeningGovernment ICT Strategy, however as Government issuch a significant driver of change, the strategy islikely to have a ripple effect throughout the UKeconomy. All Government supply chains will beimpacted by the strategy and it will not be longbefore all UK businesses will be expected to operatesustainably and report on their green agendas.GREEN CONSIDERATIONS BEYOND ICT The question also remains as to what comes next oncethe ICT strategy has been introduced. ICT cannot besingled out as the only industry responsible forgreenhouse gas emissions. Although the ICT strategyis welcomed, it needs to form part of a much widercarbon reduction strategy by Government. For example, it would make sense for the ICT strategyto be closely aligned with a greening governmenttransport strategy in addition to a greening governmentfacilities strategy which is briefly mentioned in thestrategy document. Unless these strategies align andare explicitly cross-referenced, achieving the targeted25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by2015 could prove problematic.INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION 070TECHNOLOGY" "A KEY ASPECT OF THE ICT STRATEGY IS ITS SUPPORT OFTHE GREEN CREDENTIALS OF CLOUD COMPUTING, PROVIDING SUPPLIERS OFCLOUD SERVICESWITH A HUGE OPPORTUNITY
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY071SUMMARY The introduction of the Greening Government ICTStrategy is key if the UK is to get anywhere near itsGreening Government Commitments. The strategysets-out important criteria and targets for Governmentdepartments and ICT suppliers whilst creatingsignificant opportunities for the ICT industry aroundcloud computing, shared services and greentechnologies.The strategy is welcomed, however, it isimportant for Government not to view ICT in isolation.It needs to be remembered that ICT is a vital enablerof change and so should be measured in the context ofthe overall benefits that it is delivering. It is alsoimportant for ICT to form part of an overall carbonreduction strategy. Without an all-encompassing andholistic approach to greenhouse gas reductions,achieving the Government's 2015 emissions targetwill become impossible. nABOUT THE AUTHORDean Dickinsonis Managing Director (Public Sectorand Enterprise division) of Advanced BusinessSolutions, formerly COA Solutions. Mr Dickinson has been in the finance softwarebusiness since 1990 and was part of the seniormanagement team at QSP/Arelon prior to theacquisition by COA Solutions at which time hebecame Deputy Managing Director for the business as a whole. Since the acquisition of COASolutions by Advanced Computer Software Group in February 2010, he has become ManagingDirector (Public Sector and Enterprise) forAdvanced Business Solutions. He is a specialist inconsultancy and has a strong knowledge of business processes within a high volume/high value environment.