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Four types of sustainability software solutions all CIOs should know

Forrester analyst Christopher Mines delves into four types of sustainability software that CIOs can procure to help their businesses.

Environmentally conscious companies are developing projects to incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability management into daily business and IT operations. Analyst Christopher Mines of Forrester Research Inc. tells SearchCIO.com how CIOs can use sustainability software to help the business become more environmentally friendly, gain operational efficiencies and manage energy consumption.

Listen as Mines delves into four types of sustainability software any CIO can procure and deploy to support green IT and business goals.

Below is a table of contents to guide you through Mine's explanation of these four types of software, followed by a short excerpt from the podcast.

Table of contents

Introduction:  0:00 -1:02

Discussion of collaboration and communication software:  1:03-3:20

SearchCIO.com: In your research, you've identified some categories of sustainability software that any enterprise could use. Can you take us through that a little bit and tell us the problems they can help solve?

Christopher Mines

Christopher Mines: Perhaps the most widespread and obvious one is collaboration and communication software, which simply allows a company's employees to cut down on their travel, cut down their commuting and, perhaps ultimately for a number of companies, cut down on the physical footprint of their office space. Because workers are working at home, they're in more of a hoteling kind of office situation rather than having permanent offices in a big office building.

Discussion of infrastructure management software:  3:21-5:35

Mines: Infrastructure management software -- really, this pretty quickly gets into a conversation around smart buildings. How do you run the physical plant in a more energy-efficient and therefore a more sustainable way? For most companies, the biggest single source of their energy consumption and carbon emission is their building. So, if companies can run their buildings in a more integrated, more transparent way, typically they can find significant reductions -- 20%, 25%, 30% in energy reduction and resulting carbon footprint. It's a difficult, challenging environment, but it offers very compelling ROI.

Discussion of enterprise carbon and energy management software: 5:36-6:34

Mines: These solutions help companies monitor, manage, report and reduce their energy consumption and resulting carbon emissions. This is dashboard and analytics software, fundamentally. It is connected into buildings and other assets to monitor their energy consumption.

Discussion of product development software: 6:35 -7:58

Mines: This has not taken off in any significant way yet but probably represents the next frontier. This is software that's aimed at product development organizations or R&D organizations [and] project management, perhaps, to help companies think about sustainability at design time. It helps them think about what are the materials, what are the manufacturing processes, what are the distribution  channels?

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