by Rodney Gedda

Deakin Uni takes course in ‘green’ IT service management

Nov 02, 2010
Project Management

Deakin University in Victoria is expanding on its environmental sustainability program with an ‘eco’ IT service management (ITSM) project to embed further improvements into business processes.

Deakin CIO, Peter Brusco, says the university has been “greening” over the past year or two, but he wanted to embed the IT culture of sustainability into the rest of the organisation.

“We support environmental sustainability and this project is part of our overall desire to mature our ITSM approach,” Brusco says.

Deakin has engaged Melbourne-based consulting firm Macanta Consulting to conduct its eco-ITSM program for one month following three months of planning.

“We have done quite a bit of ITSM and been an ITIL supporter for a few years so our processes have a reasonable level of maturity,” Brusco says, adding the university has undergone a lot of change management over the past two years.

“We have a real green agenda. We established a private cloud for enterprise applications and virtualisation is part of that. This has cut energy consumption quite a bit.”

Deakin is aiming to cut power consumption by 50 per cent over two years, including any growth, which Brusco says is a “fair stretch”, but is “well on the way”.

“In vendor management we are looking much more closely with what we are procuring, how we are running them and how we are disposing of them,” he says.

“We’re also doing videoconferencing. Four years ago we had 15 rooms and now have 135. The reason it is so important is because we have four campuses across the state and people used to drive between campuses. That is no longer occurring.”

Brusco says videoconferencing has resulted in residual benefits like reduced costs and improved productivity, “and made us far more effective as people are more accessible”.

The new concept of eco-ITSM

In an effort to rebuild structure around sustainability and satisfy the “strong desire” to embed a new way of thinking about environment into the culture of the organisation, Deakin has adopted Macanta’s eco-ITSM program in a world first, according to the company.

“A green agenda is not always front and centre so we want to embed a lot of what we implemented now into the culture,” Brusco explains.

“We’re hoping it will drive business behaviour, should we be able to show significant reduction in energy consumption. We hope it will encourage colleagues to do the same. We think it is leading edge.”

There are 25 people involved in the project with one full-time resource.

“We could have found easier and quicker ways for energy reduction. For example, you can use external cloud services which will give you an ability to show lower consumption, but we wanted something more sustainable. This will provide longer term sustainability,” Brusco says.

Deakin’s internal customers who have been notified of the program has been supportive, the CIO says, and although it will mean change for the organisation “it is pretty exciting for us”.

“Staff are excited about being more environmentally friendly.”

Macanta Consulting director, Karen Ferris, said eco-ITSM is complementary to Deakin’s ongoing programs and it supports the ITIL framework.