I feel like the world is stuck in some kind of mash-up of the movies Wall Street and Groundhog Day.\u00a0 It\u2019s an unsavory mix of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas\u2019), \u201cGreed is good!\u201d mantra combined with weatherman Phil Connors\u2019 (Bill Murray\u2019s) loop of selfish, hedonistic habit.In our real life version, we\u2019re seeing entire industries cycling greed and going nowhere fast.\u00a0 Here is the pattern:1. Find an angle to exploit.2. Run it into the ground while ignoring the future.3. At the end, when the check comes due, look for a handout.Think about it. First we had the whole banking subprime mortgage fiasco. Once the government \u201cmodernized\u201d the banking industry, practically everybody could borrow any amount of money they wanted based on the hype-fueled upward spiral of property values \u2013 which, of course, was a fantasy and not sustainable. And once the government stepped in to fix the problems it helped create, it became more difficult for qualified borrowers to get timely loans, making sure times stayed tough. This despite the fact that Bank of America and Citigroup received over $100 billion of taxpayer money combined (of the $200 billion banking total).\u00a0 (By the way, how much of that cash did you get? I\u2019ve yet to receive my slice.)And then we have GM which was loaned $15.4 billion by the US Treasury Department under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) in 2008 and then received another $30 billion this year. So where did those billions go? They circled down the toilet of debt service, payroll, severance, and other \u201cblack hole\u201d expenses, and now they\u2019re gone. Again, it\u2019s a Groundhog Day loop with a centrifugal spiral of greed and habit.I suppose I side with Texas Congressman Ron Paul who last November wrote, "In bailing out failing companies, they are confiscating money from productive members of the economy and giving it to failing ones. By sustaining companies with obsolete or unsustainable business models, the government prevents their resources from being liquidated and made available to other companies that can put them to better, more productive use.\u201dSo where is the IT industry in this cycle?\u00a0 We\u2019re definitely in the \u201cfind an angle to exploit\u201d stage and that angle is \u201cGreen is good.\u201d And you don\u2019t need to buy into the whole global warming scenario to acknowledge that energy conservation and sustainability are worthy initiatives if for no other reason than that they conserve capital and preserve resources.It certainly appears that everyone who sells goods, services and information to the IT sector has embraced green.\u00a0 Now don\u2019t get me wrong. I absolutely believe green is good \u2026 unless it is being used in a misleading, manipulative or self-serving way. For instance:I recently attended the Network World, \u201cIT Roadmap Conference and Expo\u201d eager to hear what groundbreaking insights were going to be offered by Cisco and Verizon.These companies sponsored a green IT seminar to discuss power management in the data center and office environments, utility computing, thin clients and virtualization as a green enabler.\u00a0 Unfortunately, what we got was an hour long infomercial on the merits of telecommuting and video conferencing. I felt like I had been suckered with a resort timeshare-type bait-and-switch.There are, of course, good reasons to green IT.\u00a0 Virtualization clearly offers the promise of better resource utilization and lower operating expense.\u00a0 Energy-Star servers, outside air economizers and the like offer true green advantages.\u00a0 But, for example, are floor tiles with embedded fans green? No. In fact, they\u2019re entirely unnecessary in a truly green facility. If you\u2019re convinced you need them, I\u2019m sure you\u2019re wasting a lot more electricity than you realize. Is cogeneration green (i.e., producing your own primary electricity from fossil fuel-based generators)?\u00a0 While it may lower your electricity costs, it\u2019s by no means carbon friendly and it\u2019s certainly not green.Here\u2019s a question: When you think of Symantec, what comes to mind?\u00a0 Do you think \u201cGreen IT and data center optimization?\u201d\u00a0 I don\u2019t.\u00a0 Yet they\u2019re on the green bandwagon: \u201cSymantec helps IT decision makers to reduce energy consumption and increase space utilization by providing solutions that increase desktop, server, and storage efficiencies.\u201d\u00a0 Ok, maybe this is a side benefit of their offering but it\u2019s a bit of a stretch to call it green, no?\u00a0 That said, Symantec has produced a decent white paper worthy of a peek: The Green Data Center \u2013 A Symantec Green IT Guide.\u00a0 Early in the report Symantec notes that half the power required for a data center is NOT used by the IT equipment; it\u2019s used for power distribution and cooling.\u00a0 And then the remainder of the paper focuses on the IT side where the savings are more difficult to attain and quantify, and require a significant investment of time and money.\u00a0\u00a0 Why do so many companies, like Symantec, focus on the more difficult side of the equation?\u00a0 Because that\u2019s the only side they can influence. It reminds me of the old adage: \u201cTo a hammer, everything looks like a nail.\u201dIf you are running out of power, space, or cooling, you should be thinking about data center facility optimization because that\u2019s where you\u2019re likely to achieve substantial and immediate gains.\u00a0 When you hear the \u201cgreen is good\u201d drum beat, take the time to figure out what\u2019s truly relevant. In many cases, you\u2019ll find a lot of hype and very little substance.So, are IT vendors are heading toward a Groundhog Day crash-and-bailout-and crash cycle? I don\u2019t think so. This industry thrives on competition and innovation.\u00a0 With a relatively low level of unionized labor and a very small pension burden, the ground rules in tech are entirely different than they were for, say, GM.\u00a0 In the tech sector, boom and bust is as natural a cycle as cicadas and solar storms. We\u2019ve all been there before. Companies offering innovation and substance will survive. Those that depend upon hype will perish. It has always been that way in tech and it always will be.As always, I welcome your comments, tips, insights and topic suggestions.\u00a0 You can reach me at email@example.com.Michael Bullock is the founder and CEO of Transitional Data Services (TDS), a Boston, MA-based consulting firm focusing on green data centers, data center consolidation \/ relocation, enterprise applications and technical operations.\u00a0 Prior to founding TDS, Bullock held executive leadership positions at Student Advantage, CMGI and Renaissance Worldwide.