Green IT becomes valuable to the bottom line

By Lilia Guan
About three-quarters of chief information officers have deployed green IT within their organisation, with an additional eight per cent planning to do so by the end of 2012, said Ovum in its latest report.
The report, ‘Green IT Deployments Across Key Global Markets’ showed the major driver for green IT deployment is compliance with carbon emissions-reduction legislation.
This was especially the case for government organisations, which often are held to higher standards than private industry so they can serve as exemplary low-carbon case studies, Ovum analyst and author of the report, Rhonda Ascierto said.
According to the survey the number of organisations using green IT grew to 73 per cent in the second half of 2010, up from 68 per cent in the first half, as tightened IT budgets and a sluggish economy forced IT decision-makers to scrutinise spending and wake up to the potential cost savings green IT can deliver.
Looking ahead to the end of 2012, Ovum’s survey revealed that a further eight per cent plan to deploy green IT.
In Australia, green IT penetration was, in part, being driven by anticipated carbon emissions-reduction legislation.
While a proposed carbon cap-and-trade system has been proposed, a carbon tax is expected to be implemented next year.
CIOs seem to be prepared for the eventuality of greater legislative pressure and plan to aggressively embrace green IT in the next couple of years.
Ovum surveyed CIOs about five major categories of green IT; data centre virtualisation; data centre power and cooling technologies; desktop virtualisation; printing and paper usage management; and power management tools for PCs and monitors.
All will experience growth in penetration during the next couple of years, Ms Ascierto said.
Of these different areas of green IT, data centre virtualisation has the greatest penetration – with 53 per cent of the CIOs respondents in Australia saying they currently use it.
According to Ovum’s survey, this figure will grow to almost 80 per cent of CIOs in Australia during the next couple of years.
Ms Ascierto told Government News in Australia, some form of carbon-emission reduction legislation at the federal level was widely expected within the next few years, most likely in the form of a carbon tax.
“CIOs in the region seem to be preparing for this eventuality and green IT of varying types is seeing strong penetration in the region,” she said.
“Previously, they considered green IT optional because they defined its value primarily in terms of corporate image, rather than the bottom line.”
Ms Ascierto said green IT was now viewed as a core technology that delivers business value by cutting costs and increasing efficiency.
“We believe this change has occurred because of constrained IT budgets and a sluggish global economy in the wake of the recession, which forced organisations to scrutinise spending on all types of IT,” she said.
“Many CIOs have for the first time had to calculate a financial return on investment of green IT.”
Enterprises should generally consider green IT as being lean IT, Ms Ascierto said.
IT is often classified as green when it reduces resource consumption, typically electricity from fossil fuels.
“When less power is used, less carbon is emitted. Moreover, lower resource usage means lower costs,” she said.
“So, even if a business is not subject to carbon-reducing legislation or requirements, there is a strong business case for green IT.”
The responses featured in the report were from CIOs and IT decision-makers across Europe, United States, Middle East and Australia
For the survey, 47 respondents were from the government sector, with 12 respondents from government in Australia.

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