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NASCIO behind green IT with strong statement, action plan

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) gets behind green, urging CIOs to play a key role in state environmental policy.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) came out strongly yesterday on the importance of environmentally sound IT, telling its CIO members they must play a critical role in reducing their states' carbon footprints and issuing a 17-page brief on ways to do that.

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The association, which advocates for technology policy "at all levels of government," said state CIOs are well positioned to promote green IT policies. While the federal government has taken "significant steps" in establishing policies and programs to promote green environmental practices, NASCIO asserts that the nation's governors are leading the way in advancing green strategies, pointing to the "Securing a Clean Energy Future" initiative launched in the fall and led by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

"State CIOs have an opportunity to become transformational leaders in green IT initiatives," said Oregon CIO Dugan Petty, chair of NASCIO's Green IT Working Group, in a statement accompanying the brief. "By advocating for green practices through the use of IT, and by helping to shape policies that will lead to these practices, state CIOs can have a tangible influence on lessening their state's environmental impact."

State CIOs can have a tangible influence
on lessening their state's environmental impact.

Dugan Petty
CIOstate of Oregon
The brief offers guidance on asset management of computer equipment, from acquisition to disposal. A section on energy efficiency focuses on strategies for the data centers, such as consolidation and virtualization. There are helpful links, supplementary information and vignettes of IT-enabled state energy projects, from enhancements to the Pennsylvania Seamless Digital Base Map, which is used to measure statewide forest carbon sequestration, to Kentucky's impressive work on bringing its disadvantaged students into the digital age.

"State CIOs are now finding themselves to be crucial players in areas such as health care, IT, Medicaid reform, e-discovery and a host of other issues that have just recently begun to garner state CIO attention," the report states. "State CIOs must now utilize existing technologies, and work to incorporate new ones, into their enterprise green IT policies and practices. To do this, state CIOs must take steps to move green benefits to the forefront of their strategic thinking."

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Linda Tucci, Senior News Writer

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