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SETLabs Briefings

VOL 9 NO 1 2011

Green IT Maturity Model: How does your Organization Stack up?

By Mitesh Desai and Vaibhav Bhatia

A maturity model to assess the green quotient is needed for an enterprises sustainable future

reen IT goals are part of every CIOs charter today. But even when animated

Given the existing piecemeal demand, many service providers have developed similar silo-ed approach to green IT consulting. As the demand for green services are sector specific, vendors offer specific services like green data center, green user level computing, etc. Though there are a few select vendors who cater to the entire gamut of green IT most of them focus on specific areas. The other rising concern is that there is no way to report the level of environmental maturity attained by an organization to be made available and transparent across all industries. This paper introduces a green IT maturity (GITM) model for assessment and implementation of green IT services. This model can be used to measure and grade an organizations maturity in being green and its efforts towards a greener future. The proposed model helps connect the standalone green efforts of various teams and provides

discussions on green IT happen at the strategic level there are only a handful of companies that know what green IT is all about or are able to help clients deliver on green IT goals. Most large organizations focusing on green IT today have various internal teams working on separate areas and each team looks into how their efforts can be environment friendly. In other words, the IT team works on ways to make data centers consume less energy; facilities team concentrates on ways to make the facility greener; and the product engineering team focuses on making greener products. In doing so, all teams work toward the same goal, but in silos and are unaware of the efforts of each other. Often when some or all of such green efforts are outsourced, only a part of an organizations efforts get outsourced as some team/unit may decide against outsourcing.


a transparent way to certify the maturity level attained by an organization vis--vis environmental awareness and execution. GREEN IT MATURITY MODEL GITM model focuses on IT functions of organizations irrespective of the industry domain. Even though the model does not intend to assess the maturity of corporate sustainability initiatives, individual functions in an organization can use specific pillars of this model to assess greenness of services provided by the IT function to them. For example, finance function can use this model to assess green IT maturity of their end user computing and people practices. GITM measures various aspects of an organizations operations, behavior and achievements. In order to have a comprehensive report, the model carefully analyzes various functions within the organization and each unit of a function is independently surveyed and judged. The units that are typically integrated in the maturity model are Data center and facilities Expected Components: These components describe what an organization may implement to achieve a goal and guide those who implement improvements. In addition to the pillars, the model is supported by common guidelines. Such guidelines consist of level progression criteria and assessment methodology. The green IT benefits contribute to the topmost layer of the framework [Fig. 1]. This layer helps organizations to identify the value gained from implementing the recommendations identified after the maturity assessment. This framework aims at helping the organizations measure timely return on investment (RoI) on their green IT initiatives. UNDERSTANDING THE LEVELS Levels are used in GITM model to describe an evolutionary path recommended for an Required Components: These components describe what an organization must achieve to satisfy a competence level. This achievement must be visibly implemented in an organizations IT. Required components in GITM model are the carbon reduction goals. organization that wants to reduce the carbon it emits while providing services. GITM supports two improvement paths using levels. One path enables organizations to gradually improve processes corresponding to an individual pillar. The other path enables organizations to improve End user computing Asset lifecycle IT service management People practices. Each pillar contains two categories of model components:
Figure 1: Green IT Maturity Model Source: Infosys Research
Data Center Green IT Benefit Realization Questionnaires, toolkits and templates for assessment EUC Asset Lifecycle ITSM People Practices

Required Components for each Pillar

Expected Components for each Pillar


Model Pillar

Maturity Level

PG 1 PG 2 PG 5

Competence Levels

Pillar 1 Competence

Pillar 2 Competence

Pillar 5 Competence

Figure 2: Competence Level Definition Source: Infosys Research

Figure 3: Maturity Level Definition Source: Infosys Research

overall GITM by addressing each of the pillars. These two improvement paths are associated with two types of levels - competence levels and maturity levels. Regardless of the representation selected, the concept of level remains the same. Levels characterize improvement from an environmentally ignorant state to a state that uses quantitative information to determine and manage improvements that are needed to meet an organizations green IT objectives. To reach a particular competence level, an organization must satisfy the relevant goal for the pillar in scope. However, to reach a particular maturity level, an organization must satisfy the relevant goals for all the five pillars. Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the structures for competence level and maturity level. The maturity level of an organizations green IT approach is a function of competence levels achieved by the organization for each pillar [Fig. 2]. There are two conditions that an organization must satisfy to achieve a specific maturity level. 1. The organization has a uniform competence level across the pillars.

2. If condition 1 is satisfied, the green IT initiatives should have resulted in reduction of carbon emission by a percentage prescribed for a particular maturity level. Let us assume that an organization has implemented virtualization solution for its data centers. Virtualized infrastructure indicates possibility of the organization being at competence Level 3 for the data center pillar. However, if the organization is at competence Level 1 for people practices then organizations overall green IT maturity would be at Level 1. This condition emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach towards green IT that results in a positive environment in addition to cost savings. Level 5 - Sustainable At Level 5, information technology is expected to assist business in reducing business carbon footprint. The initiatives can involve assessing business processes and automating manual, paper-intensive activities.


Level 4 - Dynamic At Level 4, the IT organization is close to carbon neutrality. Green IT results are reported to external stakeholders through organizational or IT sustainability reports. Level 3 - Optimized At Level 3, carbon emission from IT components is reduced by at least 50%. The IT organization will also have a dedicated green IT governing body to ensure ongoing reduction of environmental impact of IT. Level 2 - Monitored At Level 2, the IT organization measures environmental impact of IT components and

PILLARS OF THE MATURITY MODEL The competence levels for the maturity model pillars are listed in this section. Data Center and Facilities Pillar Data center and facilities are the biggest contributors of green IT. In order to tap their high potential following levels have been defined: DFG 5: Building Sustainable Infrastructure through Innovative Practices: Data center power is obtained from renewable sources of energy. Infrastructure is also self-healing and innovative solutions are deployed. DFG 4: Utilizing Automation to Provision

An enterprises green maturity can be gauged in how it harnesses its data centers and infrastructure

would have implemented few initiatives resulting in reduction of carbon emission by 10%. Level 1 - Deficient At Level 1, the organization is assessing the benefits from green IT initiatives but is yet to embark on a concrete sustainability journey. The competence level can be achieved by implementing required components mentioned in each pillar. The required components are named using the initial letters of the pillar name appended by G and a number specifying the competence level addressed by the specified component. For example, DCG1 stands for Data Center Goal for Competence Level 1.

Infrastructure Components: All data center resources (power, cooling, IT) are dynamically allocated/de-allocated based on demand/ supply. Sensor-based technology is utilized for dynamic cooling and lighting. DFG 3: Optimizing Infrastructure to Reduce Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission: Utilization of resources is optimized by intelligent deployment of technologies like virtualization and optimal placement of servers to manage cooling. DFG 2: Monitoring Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission and Implementing Quick


Wins: Energy usage and heat dissipation of devices in data center is monitored closely and few corrective measures are taken. Also, business requirements of IT resources in a data center are tracked and corrective steps are taken. DFG 1: Implementing Fundamental Initiatives: There is little management of IT resources. Data center cooling is in adherence to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirConditioning (ASHRAE) standards. Manual efforts are made to monitor energy wastage. Asset Lifecycle Pillar One of the critical components of green IT is the

assets, environment friendly procurement and handling of assets when they turn into scrap. ALG 3: Spreading Awareness on Asset Lifecycle Perspective among Relevant Stakeholders: Assess environmental impact of all phases of asset lifecycle and document them. Spread awareness about the impacts among the asset management and procurement teams to ensure appropriate handling of assets. ALG 2: Understanding and Curtailing Impact of Pre-use Phase of Assets Lifecycle on Environment: Optimize the asset refresh cycle and optimize the procurement process to reduce environmental impact.

Managing asset lifecycle in an environment-friendly manner forms a key element of green IT initiative

management of asset lifecycle in environment friendly manner. Organizations need to consider entire asset lifecycle to reap real benefits of green IT. Levels have been defined to help organizations achieve efficiency in facilities:

ALG 1: Introducing Energy Efficient Devices in the Environment: The organization emphasizes on procurement of energy efficient devices while procuring new devices. IT Service Management Pillar

ALG 5: Enabling Sustainable Handling of Assets beyond the Scope of IT Organization: Suppliers business processes are certified for environment friendliness. The organization ensures that vendors handle assets appropriately when they turn into scrap. ALG 4: Optimizing Management of IT Assets: Policies have been formed for usage of IT

Environment friendly business practices call for transformation in the way businesses operate. Organization culture can be effectively altered by organizational processes. Following levels have been identified to utilize IT management processes for greener IT: ITG 5: Enabling Sustainable ITSM through Innovative Practices: Service-based carbon


management is implemented by the IT organization. Service improvement plans are utilized for continual reduction in carbon emission of IT. ITG 4: Dynamically Reporting on Green IT Adherence of ITSM processes: Green IT checkpoints in various ITSM processes are incorporated and adherence is measured at regular intervals for reporting to management. ITG 3: Implementing Governance Structure for Green IT and Increasing Utilization of Automation: ITSM processes are automated using various software packages. Green IT metrics for ITSM are incorporated in the tools. A green IT governance body is formed to ensure efficient implementation of green IT initiatives. ITG 2: Defining Green IT Metrics for ITSM Processes: Organization has employed metrics to measure environmental impact of IT services. These metrics are reported to manage development of green IT strategy.

footprint (non-IT) through solutions like video conferencing. ECG 4: Utilizing Automation to Dynamically Provision Infrastructure Components: End user computing resources are provisioned dynamically wherever possible through technologies like virtual desktop infrastructure. ECG 3: Optimizing the Infrastructure to Reduce Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission: The organization has optimized existing resources using technologies like centralized power management and has introduced multi-function devices. ECG 2: Monitoring Energy Consump tion and Carbon Emission and Implement Quick Wins: The organization monitors power consumption of end user computing devices continuously. Also, quick wins like disabling screen savers, sleep settings for monitors and CPUs have been implemented. ECG 1: Implement fundamental initiatives: The

ITG 1: Automating Critical ITSM Processes: Only few ITSM processes are automated and the processes do not have specific inputs for green IT.

organization has only implemented sharing of printers, scanners and copier devices. The approximate ratio of user to device is 250:1. People Practices Pillar

End User Computing Pillar End user computing devices currently contribute substantially to IT carbon emission. It is important for businesses to form effective strategy to reduce workplace carbon emission. Following levels have been identified to utilize IT management processes for greener IT: ECG 5: Building Sustainable Infrastructure through Innovative Practices: End user computing devices are efficiently used to reduce business carbon

People practice is one of the most important pillars of this model. Studies indicate that user awareness can offer twice the energy savings as compared to centralized power management solutions. To tap the high potential of people practices, the following levels have been defined: PPG 5: Utilizing People Awareness to Spread Environmental Awareness in Other Functional Units or Outside Organization: Implement


initiatives to utilize employee awareness to spread awareness in other business functions or outside the organization.
Changing User Behavior Data Center Facilities End User Computing

PPG 4: Aiding Proactive Green IT Initiatives by Employees: Help motivated employees to start environment related initiatives or include them in green IT governing body. PPG 3: Ensuring User Participation in Organizations Environmental Initiatives: Initiate various environment related initiatives in organization that are governed by the employees. PPG 2: Monitoring User Awareness through Multiple Channels: Monitor user awareness through multiple channels like quizzes, competitions and open forum of discussions. PPG 1: Initiating User Awareness Campaign: Employees are reluctant to accept or understand environmental issues at this stage. Organization can communicate about internal initiatives and their effects on environment. Figure 4 shows the green contribution of the pillars discussed in this paper against their complexity of implementation. It is evident that data centers can contribute to green IT program in a major way as they form the largest contributors to carbon emission and energy consumption. However, changing user behavior is more difficult to achieve than a data center transformation even though the green contribution is lower compared to data center.

Complexity of Implementation

Asset Lifecycle Management

Green ITSM Processes Green Contribution

Figure 4: Complexity-Contribution Matrix Source: Infosys Research

action points into IT operational activities. On the other hand, organizations that have already started their green journey can use this model to streamline their approach to green IT. Effectiveness of a GITM model can be truly measured vis--vis three parameters Planet - where every business is socially and environmentally conscious to some degree. But unless these efforts are measured, they cannot be used for reporting, advertising, etc. Profit - where while going green reducing operating expenditure has to be one of the primary goals. Green IT initiatives not only help reduce energy consumption, they reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT assets, data center space, etc. People - where green IT initiatives create

CONCLUSION Organizations that are yet to embark on their journey of green computing can utilize the guidance provided in this paper, right from defining an IT strategy to incorporating green

environment related awareness among employees and among people at large. To sum it up, GITM model goes beyond business benefits as it lays equal stress on environment and awareness.


REFERENCES 1. IT Infrastructure Library version 3. Available on 2. Capability Maturity Model, Software Engineering Institute. Available at reports/93tr024.pdf. 3. The Green Grid. Available at http:// 4. Schmldt, R. (2005), Data Centers, Meeting

Data Center Temperature Requirements, ASHRAE Publications - Meeting Data Center Temperature Requirements. Available at docLib/20070425_Schmidt.pdf. 5. Green IT for Dummies. Available at hpinfo/globalcitizenship/ environment/productdesign/ GreenITforDummiesSpecialEdition. pdf.


Authors Profile
MITESH DESAI is a Senior Associate Consultant with the Infrastructure Transformation unit of Infosys. He an
be reached at

VAIBHAV BHATIA is a Consultant with the Infrastructure Transformation unit of Infosys. He can be reached

For information on obtaining additional copies, reprinting or translating articles, and all other correspondence, please contact: Telephone: +91-40-67048455 Email:

Infosys Technologies Limited, 2011 Infosys acknowledges the proprietary rights of the trademarks and product names of the other companies mentioned in this issue of SETLabs Briefings. The information provided in this document is intended for the sole use of the recipient and for educational purposes only. Infosys makes no express or implied warranties relating to the information contained in this document or to any derived results obtained by the recipient from the use of the information in the document. Infosys further does not guarantee the sequence, timeliness, accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be liable in any way to the recipient for any delays, inaccuracies, errors in, or omissions of, any of the information or in the transmission thereof, or for any damages arising there from. Opinions and forecasts constitute our judgment at the time of release and are subject to change without notice. This document does not contain information provided to us in confidence by our clients.

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