Roadmapping the Next Wave of Sustainable IT

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Purpose – This paper aims to explore the strategic dimensions and drivers of sustainable IT and roadmaps its likely development as a disruptive innovative force over the next decade as it moves beyond the datacenter and throughout the IT organization, the firm, markets, and society at large. Its purpose is to provide a comprehensive view of the emerging industry to inform sustainable IT strategy development and stimulate future research. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a qualitative three‐phase process to develop the technology roadmap for the sustainable IT industry. The phases are domain analysis, which features a comprehensive literature review and expert panel depth interviews; roadmap development, which involved two technology roadmapping brainstorming sessions; and follow‐up activity, to confirm roadmap session results with the expert panel. Findings – The paper defines the emerging field of sustainable IT and its green IT and sustainable IT services dimensions. It identifies market segments, products and services, technologies, compliance and reporting requirements, organizational changes, and value migration and roadmaps a likely future landscape for the development of sustainable IT strategy. Practical implications – Developing a sustainable IT strategy is a major issue for most organizations. Managers and researchers can use the results of this study to better understand the dimensions of sustainable IT and its likely future growth paths. Researchers will find the comprehensive approach to the topic useful for planning future technological innovations and determining their disruptive potential. Managers can use the results to benchmark their current situation and develop strategies for the next generation of sustainable IT service solutions. Originality/value – This paper is the first to apply technology roadmapping to the emerging sustainable IT industry. It provides a strategic planning perspective of the future of the industry as it migrates from green‐IT strategies for reducing the costs and energy use of computing to sustainable IT services that hold the potential for transforming complex environmental and social responsibility problems into business opportunities.

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