According to Warren Wilson, a senior analyst for IT at Ovum, new carbon accounting regulations are driving sustainable business practices and forcing companies to re-examine their operations by looking at the role that IT can play in meeting carbon reporting and reduction requirements.
Ovum says it has noted a growing trend, especially among firms providing software and services, towards offerings that help clients reap business benefits through greener practices.
Wilson said: "Leading IT firms are looking at the problem more broadly, seizing the 'chance to do well by doing good' and helping clients to implement greener approaches that don't just help them comply with regulations but also help them save money, grow their companies and enhance their products and brands."
"There is a wealth of opportunity for IT firms in sustainability, so companies that have not yet taken advantage of it should not feel that they have missed the boat. However, those that are making the most of the shift to sustainable practices are those that take an innovative approach, often thinking outside of the standard services they offer. They see that the opportunity extends well beyond traditional 'green IT,' or energy-efficient computing, and encompasses all the ways in which IT can enable greener practices across the business - in industrial processes, building operations, fleet management, and more."
According to Wilson, SAP and a number of established niche solution providers are among the leaders in sustainable business solutions. He said: "We believe SAP is on track to claim a substantial share of what will be a huge market. This is true for two key reasons: sustainability management is a natural extension of ERP -- SAP's home turf -- and its value proposition is simple: sustainable practices are good business."
The topic is covered in detail in a new Ovum report entitled Carbon accounting: a key step toward broad sustainability management.