Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

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

Islands of Energy Data

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Energy drives everything from data centers to buildings to laptops, so it’s not surprising that Verdantix found eight different software application categories to track various types of energy use.

The problem is that apparently these various systems don’t play well with one another (not surprising given that this was not likely part of the original application specifications.) The result? No single view of energy use throughout the enterprise, making it difficult to benchmark or run predictive analytics for the organization as a whole. No easy solution here, which is not helped by low levels of participation in the buying decision by senior IT management:

Verdantix identified 72 suppliers of energy management software. Of 33 suppliers surveyed, 63 percent sell to the head of energy, 53 percent to the head of facilities and 44 percent to the head of sustainability. By contrast the CFO only features as a direct contract sponsor for 28 percent of suppliers and the CIO’s team has only been a software buyer for 19 percent.

It’s possible that an XML format may ease data sharing, but organizational issues remain, such as reluctance to share data across units and privacy issues.


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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