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to cut emissions, organisations are now beingeffectively persuaded to take a closer look at theenvironmental impact of their business processes, withencouraging developments.Recent research from professional services firm KPMGhas highlighted that many of the world's leadingorganisations are realising the commercial andoperational benefits that can be gained by formulatingcorporate sustainability strategies. KPMG's survey,which polled 370 senior figures at large organisations,revealed that respondents are claiming tangiblebusiness benefits as a direct result of operating moresustainably. These benefits range from attracting and retaining customers, increased profitability, and the development of better quality products and services.As organisations begin to do more than merely pay lipservice to the threat of climate change, there are anumber of emerging opportunities and challenges forthe green software sector and its customers. MEASURABILITY IS KEYFollowing Nicholas Stern's review in 2006, thecorrelation between climate change and the economyhas long since being recognised. At an organisationallevel, it is now evident that businesses can no longerkeep green reporting and financial reporting separateas environmental factors impact a company's bottomline, from energy costs and waste production throughto poor management of environmental risk. Extending a company's reporting to include greenaccounting, so that users can report on theenvironmental benefits and costs of their operations, isa key area of focus for software developers. Carbonmanagement systems, which collate emissions datafrom a range of organisation-wide sources, such aselectricity meters, fleet fuel consumption and businessair travel, provide a clear indication of where thegreatest emissions are coming from. These systemsalso provide the ability to interrogate and report thisinformation in the same way organisations analysetheir financial performance, thus helping to optimisecarbon efficiency. Organisations are increasingly looking to documentmanagement technologies, which significantly reducepaper consumption and CO2emissions, to supporttheir green accounting requirements in addition totheir business needs. The positive environmentalimpact of using electronic document management(EDM) are widely acknowledged, but until recently thetrue paper and carbon savings as a result of usingthese solutions have proven harder to measure. EDM carbon measuring software tools, such as VersionOne's document management Green Meter, are now090INNOVATION TECHNOLOGYLeft: Dean Dickinson,Managing Director(Public Sector &Enterprise), AdvancedBusiness Solutionsenabling organisations to calculate and report on thepaper and carbon savings as a result of not printing,photocopying and posting documents. This helpsorganisations to engage staff with their green agendasas they are shown clearly and in easy-to-understandterms how their actions are directly contributing (or notcontributing) to climate change.IS THE CLOUD GREEN?The UK Government's Comprehensive SpendingReview has forced public sector organisations to re-examine their IT costs and think hard about whetherthey should remain with a traditional in-house ITfunction or outsource to a hosted IT model.One option that many are considering is a move towardsusing cloud computing models. Indeed, recent researchby analyst Gartner has revealed that CIOs view the cloudas their top technology priority for 2011 and it expectsthe number of organisations using on-demandcomputing to rise to 43 per cent within four years.The business benefits of cloud computing are welldocumented. By removing many of the overheadstypical of in-house IT management, cloud applicationscan be accessed "on demand", making the need for anon-site IT infrastructure and IT team redundant. Thisflexibility ensures that organisations pay only for the ITthey need and the cloud provider handles the ongoingmanagement and maintenance of the IT systems andsoftware, typically making cloud computing a veryeconomical option.While these potential savings provide a very attractivealternative during these challenging times, the cloud

cloud providers. If the EU's proposals for an ITindustry-wide agreement are successfullyimplemented, this could potentially accelerate cloudadoption throughout Europe. However, until serviceproviders are prepared to share their utilisation data, itremains unclear just how efficient cloud computingactually is, other than it appearing to be greener. Untilthen, it is essential that organisations work with atrusted adviser who has the expertise to recommendwhich cloud computing models represent the best fitfor their environmental and business strategies, bothfor today and for the future.CONCLUSIONThe economic uncertainty of recent times has causedturbulence for organisations of all sizes. It has alsopresented an opportunity for green IT to elevate itselfto the top of the business and political agenda.Emerging trends, such as cloud computing, offer theopportunity for reduced costs and potentiallyenhanced environmental benefits.Demands for measurable reductions to CO2outputhave also placed the responsibility squarely on theshoulders of the IT industry to ensure thatorganisations can accurately quantify the changes theyare making. Similarly, while both national and EUgovernments have introduced schemes to encourageorganisations to reduce their CO2emissions, simplylegislating to enforce change is not enough. While thecarrot and the stick of allowances and fines areeffective to a degree, Governments - and the ITcommunity itself - need to actively work together toensure that climate change remains a key priority. nABOUT THE AUTHORDean Dickinson is managing director of AdvancedBusiness Solutions (Public Sector & Enterprise).Advanced Business Solutions providesleading integrated business applications andservices that enable public, private and third sectororganisations to retain control, improve visibility andgain efficiencies whilst continually improvingcorporate performance. Mr Dickinson has been in the finance softwarebusiness since 1990. He 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 asa whole. Since the acquisition of COA Solutions byAdvanced Computer Software Group plc in Feb2010, Mr Dickinson has become managing directorof Advanced Business Solutions. He is a specialist in consultancy and has a strong knowledge ofbusiness processes within a high volume/high value environment.INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY091" "EXTENDING A COMPANY'S REPORTING TO INCLUDE GREENACCOUNTING, SOTHAT USERS CANREPORT ON THEENVIRONMENTALBENEFITS ANDCOSTS OF THEIROPERATIONS, IS A KEY AREA OFFOCUS FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPERSmay also provide significant environmental benefits.According to Gartner, the IT industry consumes at least two per cent of all global energy use. Given itseconomies of scale, higher hardware utilisation anddesigned-for-purpose energy-efficient datacentres,cloud computing is therefore perceived as being more carbon efficient in comparison to traditional IT infrastructures. Perception, however, is not always reality. Opinions aredivided on whether transferring an organisation'senergy consumption from an "in house" ITinfrastructure to a public cloud service necessarilyresults in carbon emission reduction. If the cloudprovider's public datacentre is in Germany and thecompany's own current datacentre is in France, thenthe carbon footprint of those services may actuallyincrease due to the contrasting difference in carbonemissions between those countries. This is becauseCO2emissions in France are much lower due to itshigher proportion of nuclear generation.The problem when claiming that cloud computing isgreen is that there is currently no uniform way tomeasure the environmental efficiency of hosted ITservices. This could change if recent calls by the EUfor an open and standardised approach to cloudcomputing technology are embraced by the major IT