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Posted By: admin June 21st, 2011 11:25 am No Comments

The roles and responsibilities of a Business Analyst has always been a much talked about issue in the IT world. What is the precise definition of a Business Analyst? As per the highly acknowledged and internationally acclaimed BABOK –Guide to Business Analysis Body of Knowledge”, the role of a Business Analyst is to work as a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies and operations of an organization and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve it’s objectives. Green Technology on the other hand being the biggest buzzword for the IT Industry and Major companies feel the urgent surge to go green and with the growing demand of business analysts being expected in almost all multinational organizations, not only to elicit and manage requirements, but also to perform some other key responsibilities like risk assessment, budgeting and other activities involved in delivering software solutions, the demand for a “Green BA” is on the rise. As organizations become more environmentally conscious, yet another dimension is added to the BA work, with the focus areas of IT projects being extended at the project level, the role of a Business Analyst towards green IT policies is equally important:
• Business Analysts play a key role in helping ensure that IT solutions are aligned with green policies and practices.
• One of the most important roles of a BA is to elicit the requirements that the stakeholders have put forward. It becomes the responsibility of a BA to understand whether a stated requirement should really become a desirable part of a solution or not if they are not aligned with low energy consumption and other environmental concerns.
• BAs will have to understand the non-functional requirements imposed by green practices, and determine the additional constraints regarding system operation, maintenance and retirement (e.g., disposal of hazardous materials) to which new, green IT solutions will have to adhere. [1]
• The role of a BA working on an environmentally conscious organization may evolve in many directions, and also incorporate tasks related to developing appropriate metrics to track results and identify the environmental impact of IT operation, supporting the need for continuous improvement of the sustainability program.
• Green BAs will be typically involved in the effort to design energy efficient applications with the use of computational efficiency and data efficiency methods. For example – Simple changes in the search procedure (such as not searching the entire database each time when a much smaller search would suffice) lead to a reduction from eight hours to eight minutes to produce a data warehouse report, with clear savings due to the reduced time during which the large server had to run at near peak capacity. Other techniques, such as data de-duplication, can significantly reduce data storage needs by eliminating redundant data.[2]
At the enterprise analysis level, “going green” creates the need for a Business Analyst to incorporate the following green techniques in their basic role as a BA:
• Analysis of the business problem/situation from an environmental point of view like, looking into ways to redesign operations to use less energy and water, produce fewer emissions, generate less waste and ensure a proper disposal for waste generated.
• Business Analysts working in the IT space may be required to conduct audits of the IT infrastructure and its use from an environmental viewpoint, the creation of a comprehensive plan which addresses the various aspects of greening the IT in the broader possible manner.
• The Green BA must be in charge of investigating trends and concerns which are expressed by
o Business stakeholders (including investors, customers, media, environmental advocacy groups, employees, etc.)
o New regulations that may require changes in business practices
o Problems and opportunities related to power, cooling, and data centre capacity
o Business requirements and changes needed in policies on procurement, operation, and disposal of IT resources
o Feasible green-friendly approaches to fulfil the identified business needs.
• Business Analysts also have to think on various possibilities of solving stakeholder’s problem and elicit the requirements which are identified after interacting with the company stakeholders in order to find the best optimum solution to their business need. So to a very large extent they may also get involved in helping the organization develop a positive attitude toward green-friendly policies and practices, and educate teams on the value sustainability offers the company. [1]
For example, optimizing the process of buying an airline ticket from a green perspective might require changing the rules for online purchase and designing an ICT solution to switch the process to a paperless, secure electronic ticketing system. The entire optimization of a process such as passenger ticketing requires analysis of the solution, its alternatives and its associated risks. This is where the role of a business analyst comes into the picture.
The necessity for going green for software development companies is increasingly clear. A Forrester Research survey of more than 1,000 international companies found that greener policies and practices for IT organizations were on the rise, with 52% either implementing an overall green IT practice or creating one (up from 40% the previous year) [2] and hence one can say that the demand for business analysts capable of defining ,validating and implementing green IT solutions will continue to grow, and professionals who are interested in having a career as a business analysts must consider developing their skills in this area, thus getting prepared to play a central role in reducing the environmental impact and increasing the sustainability of information technology in their organizations.
In the past decade, the role of business analysts has rapidly evolved in multiple directions to encompass activities such as business evaluation, risk management, process modelling, dealing with metrics and measurement and undertaking acceptance testing of solutions. So this becomes one of the most important roles of a Business Analysts that is how they can provide an invaluable contribution to improve the business process of developing environmentally sound IT practices within and around the organization. Since the foundation of a green IT strategy is energy efficiency, a successful “Green BA” should become knowledgeable on different concepts such as server consolidation and virtualization, storage virtualization, cloud computing, and power management, among other green-related technologies that can help IT to become more efficient, flexible, resilient, and environmentally friendly while economical to operate.
Organizations need to get their green credentials in order and to take a strategic, long term view of the environmental factors affecting their business. A business analyst, as discussed here, helps bring together innumerable variables into a unified and comprehensive plan to address the various long-term and strategic aspects of green IT processes in the broad context of the corporation, the industry and the overall business ecosystem.
Source: [1] Murugesan, S. Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices. IT Professional Volume 10, Issue 1, Jan.-Feb. 2008 Page(s):24 – 33
[2] The Greening of IT: How Companies Can Make a Difference for the Environment. Lamb,John. IBM Press, 2009.

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