The Green software field has been growing for years, but as current estimates have pegged it to more than double in value by 2013, major players in the high tech world are sitting up and taking notice. Chief Sustainability Officers have been added to company boardrooms and corporate sustainability plans can be found on almost all major high tech company websites.
The acquisition of companies providing sustainability related IT (“green data management”) solutions by much larger corporations, such as Clear Standards by SAP in 2009 and NDEVR by Oracle earlier this year, confirms that important companies in the high tech industry are taking note of the booming growth in the Green software market. In fact, the growth rate of the sustainability related software sector is one of the fastest out of all enterprise software markets, far outstripping that of the enterprise software field as a whole, according to estimates made by Forrester and IDC.
With over 100 different resource usage reporting schemes worldwide, many of them government-mandated, businesses have no choice but to deal with the vast amounts of green data they produce on a regular basis. In addition, businesses searching for new ways to cut costs in their operations have noticed that running more resource efficient and less polluting businesses is a good way to save money and please stakeholders. All these factors have contributed to the expansion of the green data management sector, currently estimated at $2 billion, but expected to grow to $4.8 billion as soon as 2013 by Forrester Research.
With the growth of stakeholder interest in corporate sustainability, it becomes increasingly important for companies to make their green data public and prove that they are taking efforts to become more sustainable. Requests from stakeholders for green data have become almost as frequent as those for financial data, and it is crucial that companies present this data and their sustainability goals in a way that demonstrates the importance with which they regard sustainability. The value that stakeholders have been placing on being environmentally friendly has helped the green data management market grow to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, and will only fuel its growth in the future.
Among all the products and services offered in this sector are resource (often, specifically carbon) management tools. Many companies in the IT field have expanded their service offerings to include management and reporting programs, and these tools have become very popular with executives of larger, multi-national corporations, who use them to manage their green data and create corporate sustainability plans across their branches.
In addition to carbon accounting products, many companies in this sector provide other sustainability related products and services, many of which are GRC (government, risk, and compliance) focused. These include: operational risk management products (to help companies comply with safety regulations) and products to assess workforce and supply chain sustainability. Overall, the value of all these products and services can add up, as it did for large enterprise software company SAP. In fact, the value of all SAP’s sustainability related products sold in 2010 was estimated to be in the triple digit million euros range, making the GRC product sector one of their fastest growing.
Whether it is to cut costs, please stakeholders, or to report to the government, companies everywhere are increasingly finding the need to use green data management software, leading to the sky-rocketing growth in this industry. It is clear that in the next couple decades, the sustainability related software market will be one to keep an eye out for, as it begins to play a more important role in the enterprise software market as a whole. In fact, it might be advantageous for companies already in the enterprise software line of business to begin looking into green data management solutions, as there is a good chance that this sector will become the future of the enterprise software market. - Maanya Condamoor
Maanya Condamoor is a former Green Data Intern at KloudData Inc. and an undergraduate student at UCLA
For Further Reading: