Green IT Maturity Model – a gift from the Netherlands

The other day I got a message from my friend Albert Hankel at SURF in the Netherlands. SURF is the Dutch equivalent of Jisc. Albert told me that SURF and colleagues in Dutch higher education had been working on a “Green ICT Maturity Model” as part of SURF’s programme of work on Green ICT.

The aim of the model that SURF has produced is to allow organisations such as universities and colleges to fairly quickly get a handle on their progress to best practice and outcomes in Green ICT. Albert told me that the developers of the model drawn on the wisdom other maturity models, among them the UK Government’s Green ICT maturity model.

In SURF’s work on Green IT they have made the distinction between the “Greening of IT” and the “Greening by IT”; that is, between the work to reduce the environmental impact of ICT operations, and the harnessing of ICT to improve the environmental performance of the rest of the organisation’s activities.

Maturity models and self-analysis frameworks are not new, of course – Jisc has produced a clutch of them over the years, helping organisations track their development in areas ranging from Relationship  Management to Records Management. And there are, of course, other Green maturity models around – as well as tools for Green IT related activity. among these I would count the Green Grid Data Centre Maturity model, the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres and the Jisc Suste-IT tool that allows an as lightweight approach to carbon footprinting IT as one requires.

What I like about the SURF approach is that it brings all these elements together, and in its precise use of language (someone has done a good translation job from the original Dutch), helps organisations start to get a grip on their development.

The way I would see this being used is as an essential first step in assessing maturity in the relevant areas, with the outputs being used to help allocate priorities and resources for developing action plans and remedial projects. By a periodic further visits to the model it should be possible to map improvements over time.

You can see the Maturity Model here:

It would be really helpful if you could help Albert and his collaborators bt completing the short survey on the strengths and weaknesses of the model, as you see them:

One thought from Michael Bane at The University of Manchester was for those with an interest in this in the UK to have a go at completing the model of their own institutions and then to compare notes. I’d be happy to collate results.


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