Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Ovum: CIOs Well Positioned to Drive Sustainability (Beyond the Data Center)

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New report by Ovum “Sustainability management: an opportunity for CIOs”:

MELBOURNE: There is no escaping it: Consumers, regulators and investors all want businesses to adopt greener practices throughout their operations. But according to Ovum, the global analyst and consulting company, two important points have largely been ignored: first, many green initiatives can actually reduce costs and boost the bottom line, rather than shrink it; second, IT has a major role to play in supporting these practices.

In a new report, titled “Sustainability management: an opportunity for CIOs,” Ovum explains that CIOs who “get” the second point have a chance to raise their profile and increase their strategic value to the organization.
“Most CIOs have looked at sustainability through the narrow lens of ‘green IT’ – the energy consumption and CO2 emissions directly tied to computing and communications,” Wilson, Senior Analyst based in Washington said. “What they’re missing is the critical role that IT can play in supporting green practices across the entire organization.”

The reason, Wilson explains in the report, is that sustainable practices aren’t something a business can simply define, deploy and forget about. Each department has unique processes and problems that must be addressed. The solutions must be monitored and analyzed to make sure that they deliver the desired results, that these results are maintained over time, and that they can be reported to compliance officers, regulators, customers and investors as needed.

This kind of monitoring, measurement, analysis and reporting is inevitably a data-intensive process and one that is very similar to – indeed, a natural extension of – solutions such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business intelligence (BI) that many organizations already have deployed. [more]

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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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