IT in Greentech

While I generally write about energy for normal people, I received a query recently about the place of I.T. and Green Issues. So folks… here is my view on it. This post outlines IT and business, but if you look at it, IT has generally been used in the same ways by ordinary people in their

IT, business and energy

OK, let firstly start with what IT has done for business in the past. For the sake of this post, this is my mini model of how business work.

Historically business was a matter of faced the costs of staff, materials and capital investment. The business then had some clever process to turn these into a product… and boom… profit.

The most profound effect IT has had is on staff costs. IT has stream lined the work staff do, in many cases meaning large numbers of staff are replaced by just one. Excel for example… has reduced the amount of clerical staff required dramatically. It has also helped business manage staffs time better, reducing the amount of waiting around people do and unproductive time (well in theory anyway).

So Staff savings have come from

Information/management/control tools

Next we look at materials and products

IT has helped business reduce costs on materials… by allowing them to do two main things. It provides information on price/stock levels/quality/sales. It then allows them manage and control these things more effectively.

So on a materials and products front, savings have come from

Information/management/control tools

Next we look at process

You know what I’m going to say… information – management – control

So on a process, savings have come from

Information/management/control tools

So now energy is a major concern… for lots of reasons. Well you’ll never guess where I think the opening for IT to play a part.

IT can assist business (and ordinary people) by allowing them to manage this significant expense. I know… your all thinking… management… drag… but here are some ideas

  • Monitoring energy consumption. Not just at the main meter, but sub metered at likes of areas within a business. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” is the mantra

This leads on to

  • Managing all this energy consumption. Lots of information demands clever software to do it in a clever way. Knowing that a piece of equipment is using less/more energy than it should/others are using is powerful. But too much information… gibberish.
  • Control of specific piece of equipment. Generally equipment doesn’t consume energy for the sake of it, it is converting that energy into motion/light/sound etc. If each piece of equipment converted the energy in a more intelligent way… boom… savings.
  • Information – communication. IT can help get useful information to the people who need it. In general, giving direction to suppliers/staff/clients/machines about energy efficiency…. is challenging. IT is the solution

NOTE: I accept that Tech also has a part to play in distance communications etc… another post perhaps…


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