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Posted by Chris Mines on February 10, 2011
Spending some time with the Autodesk executives at the event and touring the gallery reminded me that many of the new products and processes that Forrester's clients are putting in place are treating symptoms rather than root causes. Adding PC power management software to a fleet of desktops, as a couple of our government-agency clients have done recently, reduces the PC fleet's energy consumption relative to its baseline -- that's good. But it does nothing about the material composition, short life expectancy, or difficult recycle-ability of the PCs -- that's bad!
Only by addressing the fundamental resource-intensity of the products we use -- when they are designed, not when they are already in use -- can the root causes of unsustainable business practices and infrastructure be illuminated and eventually removed. The IT industry in particular is still plagued by a fast-product-cycle mentality, where the response to a broken key on a PC is too often "get a new one!" Designing products that are not only resource-efficient, but built to last, will be a fundamental and difficult change to the technology trajectory and business model of many IT suppliers. Autodesk is showing the way.
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