Q&A James Governor – the ‘green’ in GreenMonk is money
I’ve just had a great chat with James Governor from RedMonk about Tom Raftery joining the team and RedMonk’s commitment to greentech. What struck me from the outset was how this was not a case of jumping on the bandwagon but a business decision that aims to bring in additional revenue to the company not only from existing customers but from a new segment entirely. Below is a highlighted summary of our conversation:
What if green is just a fad?
I hope it is – it would be wonderful if in 10 years we have fundamentally changed the way we behave so that companies and people have made energy efficiency a core part of what they do and how they behave. Efficiency is really important – and this is the area where we have made too many compromises. Sustainability is something that PR people used to talk about but now it is a strategic concern.
When BA say that the European short-haul industry can’t make money above $85 a barrel we have to take note and realise that fundamental changes must occur in the way that people work (such as in travel and logistics) and that can only be a good thing. Sustainability will become a critical business issue – this is something that RedMonk understands and we want to be part of the discussion.
Isn’t green IT all about the data centre – that’s where I see all the PR?
For too long people have been concentrating their technology green issues on the data centre – this is not the big opportunity. Emissions from IT accounts for only 2-3% (which will grow to 4-5%). That leaves 95% in other areas – there are bigger problems to solve than whether the data centre is green.
RedMonk will be focusing on the broader view. What will ‘Energy 2.0’ look like? Energy Demand Management is hard to do, but to those that say: “we are not going to be able to save our way out of this problem” I would reply – “if we don’t do something then many businesses will not be around in 5 years.”
How will you make money out of this?
RedMonk is always happy to take money from vendors. However, we get our independence by living on the Internet and having the vast majority of our conversations not with vendors but with developers and other constituencies. With sustainability being so important, the prime opportunity in the green space is now – this is a market making time. People are investing and I want some of that budget. Vendors are ahead of the market but that’s OK.
The processes RedMonk has put into place over the past 6 years regarding how we advocate open standards and open source have put us in a great position. We are experts at analysing social change – in fact we have changed the behaviour of some of the biggest companies in the world. We will follow this approach as we are going to need to start sharing data across multiple industries (such as carbon footprints) in the hope that we can make a difference.
Isn’t it confusing to have two brands – RedMonk and GreenMonk?
GreenMonk began as a personal project – in fact it started as a blog. It now makes perfect sense to integrate both brands as GreenMonk will be a core part of the business. Of course we need to have some healthy pragmatism in the GreenMonk line as there are markets that need making. We still have lots of work to do to integrate web presences and so on.
Why did you pick Tom Raftery?
He is perfect for RedMonk. He is social media savvy and fully appreciates that it is more about people than the technology. In addition to this he is well respected with the work that he did when he built a green data centre for the Cork Internet Exchange.
In these changing economic times, will RedMonk be able to handle a recession?
We’ll be fine. The analysts houses that survive either have to be small and nimble or big with cash flows that are sustainable. We fit into the first category and I am not worried.
I know from the clients I have that Green IT is no longer a buzz phrase but a practical imperative for many companies. They are now facing the facts that sustainability and greentech goes beyond the data centre and will become a fundamental function in business process. RedMonk are cognisant of this and have joined a surprisingly few number of analysts who have made the investment within this space and are hoping to making a difference in their advice.
I for one look forward to these conversations having a far greater impact.
Disclosure: Masdar is a client of Edelman
PS. Thanks to Naomi Higgins for the picture – perhaps it is a sign of the times that 99% of ‘greentech’ images show windmills.. there is more to Green IT than this!
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