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April 17, 2009

Green IT projects persist into 09

Gartner study shows momentum maintained

By CBR Staff Writer

Environmental sustainability will remain an important agenda item for businesses but most will ease off green projects this year unless they provide some short-term cost gain or improve efficiency, analysts have concluded from a study.

Around 20% of enterprises now claim to have a specific capital expenditure budget for green IT and in Europe, which has the highest levels of maturity, some 38% were found to be spending over 20% of their IT capital expenditure on green IT initiatives.

Worldwide, companies believe they are assigning more than 15% of the IT capital budgets on green IT projects.

Gartner polled over 600 people with some knowledge or responsibility for their organisation’s green IT programmes last December, and found that other than in UK and Germany, enterprises have seen a decrease in the priority of their initiatives but most were being continued.

In the UK and Germany, only 2% and 3%, respectively of enterprises have seen a decrease in the priority of green IT programmes.

Gartner believes this would include the likes of videoconferencing and programmes that increase energy efficiency measures in the data centre and at the desktop, or those that improve asset use, such as virtualisation.

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Only 10% of respondents had no green IT projects at the time of the survey. 

The goal of most enterprise green IT programs has predominantly been about saving money or avoiding costs. But Gartner advises that it is no longer necessary to use green to justify cost cutting. 

The analyst house said, “For end-user organisations, lean and green should not be conflated, but CIOs need to break down budget silos and consider the wider cost-benefits to the organisation if they are to help the business exploit the financial benefits derived from green IT projects.”

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