Green IT Gains Priority Status

Although global companies once looked at green IT as a wish-list item, they are now actively pursuing it, according to the findings of a recent survey. The poll of 1,052 IT executives in 15 countries, which Applied Research conducted for Symantec, shows that 97 percent of companies are involved in green IT initiatives in some fashion?with 52 percent in the discussion or trial stages and 45 percent having already implemented a strategy.

?Green IT is more of a priority than it?s ever been, as companies look to IT to take a leadership position to drive down energy consumption and decrease their carbon footprint,? says Jose Iglesias, Symantec?s vice president of global solutions. ?The amount of money set aside for green IT is increasing at a time when overall budgets are decreasing or, at best, staying flat.?

While 87 percent of the respondents said it is either somewhat important or significantly important that their IT organization implement green IT initiatives, nearly three-fourths of the respondents said they expect their companies? budgets for green IT to increase in the next 12 months.

Purchasing energy-efficient equipment was paramount. While 89 percent of the study participants said a product?s energy efficiency was either important or very important, 68 percent said they would pay at least 10 percent more for a more energy-efficient product of equivalent functionality, and 41 percent said they would be willing to pay at least 20 percent more.

Nine out of 10 respondents said they were somewhat or significantly interested in buying energy-efficient hardware; 82 percent said they were interested in reconfiguring their data centers for more effective cooling and energy consumption; and 80 percent of the respondents would like to explore alternative means of generating power, such as solar or wind energy.

The recent focus on green IT is driving companies to replace old equipment with newer, more-efficient hardware (96 percent), and monitor power consumption and improve the utilization capacity of storage devices (94 percent in both cases).

Additionally, about three-fourths of the companies are using power management software/solutions to reduce power by data center equipment that?s operating at low utilization rates, and more than half said they are considering software as a service (SaaS) as part of a strategy to reduce power consumption.

IT is very often at the center of a company?s green strategies. In fact, 89 percent of the respondents said they believe that IT should play a very or extremely significant green role, and 94 percent have a corporate green advocate (and most of those advocates have an IT focus).

But green IT isn?t viewed simply as an avenue for cutting costs. Although reducing electricity consumption (90 percent) and cooling costs (87 percent) were the most important reasons companies cited for implementing green IT, a desire from corporate headquarters to be ?green? (86 percent) was almost as important.