Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 - OVUM
OVUM COMMEN  Kevin Noonan, Research Director, Public Sector

On July 1st the Carbon Tax finally became a reality. No matter what views may be about the politics or worthiness of such a tax, the plain reality is now clear. The carbon tax has arrived, and is now part of our business and ICT landscape, at least until the next election.

Carbon intensive industries such as electricity generation, transport and some manufacturing sectors will most likely feel the greatest impact. It is also highly likely there will some be consequential impacts, and these have been widely canvassed in the lead-up to its introduction. Beyond the political claims and counter claims, it should now be possible for most CIOs to undertake reasonably informed scenario planning.

While it will clearly be a time of change, the news is not all bad for information technology. The economics of power consumption is likely to play a much bigger part in future asset replacement plans. Those power hungry old servers sitting in the corner might not be looking so attractive when power and air conditioning is taken into account.

Now is the time to dust off those old power efficiency plans, and to encourage more efficient business practices. Given the strong and emotional political arguments being played out in the arena, business managers are likely to appreciate some clearly articulated, fact based modelling at an enterprise level.

Data centres will of course be most directly impacted by a Carbon Tax. New generation data centres and cloud based IaaS offerings are likely to benefit from a much strengthened business case.

Over the coming financial year, there would also be value in watching closely for less obvious changes. Already, there are already many factors that are beginning to challenge our traditional notion of the workplace of the late 20th century. The Carbon Tax is likely to add just one more reason to question its long term viability. Carbon driven increases in transport costs may further strengthen the business case for mobile technologies, teleconferencing, and the creation of a more flexible and distributed workforce.


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Jennifer Duraisingam
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The carbon tax has arrived, and is now part of our business and ICT landscape, at least until the next election.



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