Educating Efficiency

The green movement and economic pressures of the business world is forcing companies to look for ways to conserve energy and save money for every aspect of the business, particularly IT.  Making changes to the infrastructure has some benefits realized, but the heart of long-term changes will be the result of educating the workforce in the vocabulary and specifics of the concern.

Most companies have very little practical education in energy conservation, obtaining efficiencies in IT components, or the like.  ISO14000 training is the most prevalent education found and in most cases, attendance is an attempt to fulfill a requirement than to actually learn and apply what is taught.  The real change is when that education is applied.  Here’s some suggestions:

Change the daily vocabulary.  Make it a point to bring into conversation the need to understand where efficiencies are needed and what to do to obtain them.  For instance, data in most organizations is increasing at alarming rates.  The most data, the more storage which is needed and hence the more energy consumed.  Control the data, a department has more control over the energy consumed.  Though the elimination of data is not foreseeable, the proper management of that data is and can provide several additional benefits to the department.

To support the use of the vocabulary, expose the team to relevant discussions about energy consumption, space requirements, and IT technologies on a regular basis.  The closer the department is to managing the facilities or IT of an organization, the more meaningful the discussions are because actions based on the discussions are more prevalent.

Make efficiency gains a criteria for performance.  Ensure that everyone understands that they have a role in fulfilling the need for efficiency in the organization and encourage everyone’s idea.