Dougwashburn You've heard it once and you'll hear it again: You can't manage what you can't measure. This adage is relevant to any IT project — especially if you're getting serious about green IT. Forrester advises that before investing a single dollar, measure your green IT baseline — an annual estimate of the energy consumption, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and financial costs of operating your IT within and outside of the data center.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce Forrester's online green IT baseline calculator — an intuitive, online tool to help IT professionals calculate their green IT baseline.

The tool walks you through the key green IT baseline assumptions, including the number of IT assets, energy draw, and hours of up-time. For additional accuracy, you can customize your price and CO2 emissions per kilowatt. The tool will then automatically calculate your green IT baseline for your review. From there, you can email the results to yourself for future reference (and you can also help guide our research agenda).

Why should you calculate your green IT baseline? My complimentary  green IT podcast and report "Is Green IT Your Emperor With No Clothes?" offer answers and much more. Here's a start:

  • Guide your greening efforts with solid data. Avoid guessing about what to green first by referencing concrete statistics on energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and cost per IT asset.
  • Create realistic goals. Measuring IT's energy consumption will help you estimate the possible environmental and economic benefits of going green, ensuring your green-related goals are realistic.
  • Quantify the benefits over time. Once you have implemented green upgrades to your IT assets, compare your new energy consumption to your baseline, highlighting both environmental and economic savings.

Finally, we all know that IT is perennially challenged to reduce cost and do more with less. When approaching green IT, do yourself and your business a favor by investing your time and capital wisely by first measuring your green IT baseline. Not only will this data offer a practical green IT starting point by exposing your most eco-taxing assets, but without it you cannot accurately quantify and report the benefits of your greening efforts to senior management.

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What's Your Green IT Baseline? Introducing Forrester's Online Green IT Baseline Calculator #ForrGreenIT

Make sure to let us know how the tool works for you: Is it useful? Has it helped frame your thinking about energy consumption and costs? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
By Doug Washburn
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