Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Missed Opportunities

I'm getting increasingly curious about the reluctance of some software and IT services companies to address the Green issue head on. Whilst at the corporate end of the business shareholder pressure means that CSR reports are expanding and companies are making real efforts to be more environmentally friendly, there still seems to be some reluctance at the solutions and sales end. I can't help wondering whether there is still some embarrassment about declaring your environmental credentials for fear of being seen as a tree-hugging fanatic. Some would rather just talk about increasing efficiency, with additional Green benefits. Seems odd - they didn't mind shouting about how good they were at corporate governance when it came to SOX, or showing their finance capabilities when it came to MiFid.

I think there are two issues here. Firstly a disconnect between turning your own organisation green and selling green solutions to customers. I thought the 'do as we say, not as we do' attitude was long gone. To be fair, the problem is mostly that the two are often (unfortunately) in different parts of the company, but you would think that those who are creating and selling solutions to clients would be up to speed on what's going on in-house.

The second area is in pro-actively offering solutions. In my experience the first to market creates the buzz, shows knowledge and commitment and often creates a standard that others have to follow. So why the reluctance? One reason I've been given is that in a market without real standards it's better to wait - Y2K showed what mistakes could be made. I think others, including the major software house I talked to last week, are simply complacent and feel the market will come to them.

In my view this is a long-term market opportunity where real commitment and expertise will be a business winner. Some of the major players seem to be happy to sit and wait until customers ask for solutions, whilst their smaller and more fleet-footed competitors are out there showing customers what can be done now.

© The Green IT Review

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