IT leaders share green-tech predictions for 2008

Some abridged predictions from IT experts who were involved with sustainable IT technology in 2007 and have an interest in what's coming

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Green tech has flourished in the past year as vendors and customers alike have invested plenty of resources in making their products and practices more energy efficient, less wasteful, and eco-friendlier.

But is this sustainable-tech trend a mere green flash in the pan? Hardly. The flourishing world of green technology is driven by true need. Companies are running out of space and power in their datacentres, not to mention struggling with high energy costs. Business leaders, politicians, and consumers alike are becoming increasingly concerned about their impact on the environment.

Still, one wonders what crop of green-tech changes the year 2008 will yield. What follows are some abridged predictions from some IT experts out there who've been immersed in sustainable tech this past year and have a keen eye on the future. I've also added some predictions of my own. Predictions are listed in alphabetical order by last name; no favoritism here.

Bogomil Balkansky, senior director, product marketing, VMware Website: VMware Energy Savings page

With constantly increasing computing demands and rising energy costs, energy conservation in the datacentre will continue to be a very hot topic (no pun intended) in 2008.

Customers will continue to right-size and optimise their IT infrastructure driven by the economic and social responsibility imperative to save energy, but we also expect to see a new trend: datacentre energy efficiency incentives or regulations from different levels of government around the world. IT vendors will respond to this groundswell by ramping up investments in technologies that will help reduce the carbon footprint of the datacentre.

Drew Clark, co-founder and director of strategy, IBM Venture Capital Group
Website: Venture Capital Group

1. In 2008, global interest in green tech will continue to grow as competitive players emerge in unexpected geographies outside the United States. Beyond investment in alternative energy, there will be a great demand for technologies that allow energy consumers (businesses and homeowners) and producers (utilities) to monitor, manage, distribute and use energy more efficiently.

2. The greening of the datacentre will continue to be a top priority for corporations, as the cost of simply powering the centre begins to exceed the cost of the servers and devices in the datacentre. Key drivers to help reduce the overall carbon footprint and run more efficient centres will include intelligent sensors and advanced analytics to monitor and improve equipment utilisation, reducing downtime and providing comprehensive operational visibility.

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