Earth Day Green BI photo (bi in the cloud)Nearly 74 percent of companies said that green IT initiatives are important in considering IT services, according to a report from CompTIA, a non-profit trade association for the IT industry.

The Second Annual Green IT Insights and Opportunities study reveals that IT companies are considering power management or the potential to save on energy costs to be the prime driver of green IT initiatives. Additionally, more than half of the companies surveyed “look to IT companies for a variety of green solutions.”

We think Green IT makes sense both environmentally and financially. And we’re doing our part to reduce carbon footprints and energy waste with a “green BI” concept. In celebration of Earth Day and Spotfire’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, let’s explore how green BI can help your company.

Cloud Reports = Less Paper, Less Carbon Emissions
Spotfire doesn’t just simplify BI reporting for any user. We enable business teams to easily build and share reports, dashboards, charts and other visualizations. By offering companies a social BI solution in the cloud, we eliminate the need for more hardware.

The beauty of anywhere analytics is that users can ask and answer their own questions from a Web browser. The Spotfire Web Player allows your organization to scale up without consuming more resources as with traditional BI hardware. And, it requires no footprint or installation, which helps in the case of increased telecommuting.

Working at Home = Reduced Carbon Footprint
Speaking of telecommuting, this practice is gaining accolades as a way to reduce carbon emissions, cut commuting costs (with gasoline averaging $3.84 right now) and improve productivity and retention. During February’s 2011 National Telework Week, 39,694 employees (86 percent federal employees) worked at home instead of at the office. The week proved to save $2.7 million in commuting costs and more than 148,000 hours of productivity. Working at home isn’t just green; it’s smart.

Additionally, the Telework Week report says that “if all 62.5 million U.S.-based full-time wage and salary workers teleworked two days per week, they would collectively save $215 billion in commuting costs.” That’s exactly what IT pros want from their employers, says a report from Dice.com (a techie job site). And, 35 percent of them are willing to take up to a 10 percent pay cut for the option to work at home.

But, what do you do about non-IT employee technology needs? That’s always a big question, but this area is gaining ground in both security and employees using their own technology at work.

Sharing Data Analytics – Not a Problem in Push for Greener IT
As telecommuting is catching on as a way to reduce energy costs and consumption, companies need a way to share data analytics without having to involve IT. We recently wrote about how the iPad2 will change meetings and mobile BI by allowing users to “reach insights faster on a train, in a boat or on a plane.” This also applies to your home office? This will save precious fossil fuel resources and money in a tough economy?

The Bottom Line
BI data accessed from anywhere just makes sense – environmentally and financially. We think you’ll see more telecommuting options, more online meetings and a greater need for green BI. After all, three-quarters of companies think going green is important. Do you?

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team