Reducing Risk, Improving Competitive Advantage by Leveraging "Green IT"

Manufacturing Insights research reveals sustainability trends and "IT for green" initiatives

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Framingham, MA — May 23, 2008 — Companies are beginning to implement information technology strategies to support their efforts to reduce risk and improve competitive advantage by leveraging "green" and "sustainability" initiatives, according to a new report from research and advisory firm Manufacturing Insights.

The report, "Sustainability 1Q08 Update: Introduction and Going Green and IT's Role," is the first in a planned series of updates on sustainability and "IT for green." This first research paper provides a summary of meaningful events, trends and case studies related to IT's role in supporting sustainability initiatives in product lifecycle economics and the supply chain.

"IT for green" considers the broader potential of IT outside of the data center and its ability to benefit the triple bottom line of impacting people, the planet, and a corporation's profit line. "Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs," said Kimberly Knickle, practice director for emerging agenda at Manufacturing Insights and author of the report.

"IT's role in company initiatives surrounding material selection, sourcing policies, resource consumption and emissions, end-of-life (EOL) postponement and management, and customer and demand fulfillment are key in determining what to prioritize, what trade-offs to make, and how to measure success," continued Knickle.

Manufacturing Insights expects IT organizations, which support key repositories of company data related to sustainability, and other business units, including supply chain, engineering, operations, and more, to develop what-if scenarios to guide their sustainability efforts today and as they mature.

This series of research reports will address the ways in which companies are meeting the challenges of going green and how they are allocating resources toward sustainability over time, and the research firm has developed a "maturity curve" reflecting the evolution of company initiatives over time. (The various stages of maturity are highlighted in the accompanying chart.)

This ongoing research highlights IT vendors and the applications that support sustainability programs not only to reduce risks and costs but also to increase revenue and profit and enhance competitive positioning. In this report, Manufacturing Insights presents a case study of Cisco's sustainability initiatives with a focus on supply chain, and the company's progress and plans are detailed.

More information on the report is available at the Manufacturing Insights Web site.