Cost savings still the priority in green IT, says Forrester

05 Oct 2009 View Comments
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Most firms are using virtualisation in the datacentre

Financial drivers and efficiency gains are still the main drivers in UK firms’ green IT initiatives thanks to the recession, according to a new report from analyst Forrester.

The survey found 86 per cent of IT directors already had or are considering a green IT plan. Of those, 49 per cent said reducing energy consumption is a priority while extending the life cycle of IT assets is a priority for 40 per cent.

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Only 25 per cent of respondents identified reaching CSR goals as the desired effect of their organisation’s green IT strategy.

“At this point, any requests for funding of green IT activities must first be supported by a business case that examines costs and the comparative return on that investment," said one IT director.

Server virtualisation and storage consolidation are the most commonly adopted green IT practices, with 85 per cent of survey respondents either currently using or exploring these initiatives.

And nearly 90 per cent of survey respondents are exploring desktop energy consumption audits. Desktops can consume up to half an organisations IT energy use.

More than three-quarters of the respondents are implementing or exploring centralised PC power management, some 49 per cent are exploring implementation of thin clients, and an additional 21 per cent have already implemented thin-client technology.

The report warns that firms should not go too far in the effort to cut costs.

"Overzealous greening of the datacentre and desktop environments can put operations at risk if it compromises infrastructure performance or availability, " said analysts Onica King and Doug Washburn, authors of the report.

The report also says that Green IT strategies offer a chance to for IT directors to provide leadership on green issues. But first they should familiarise themselves with their organisations goals and learn to speak the language of the C-suite.

"From there, IT leadership can proactively approach the business with an action plan on how IT can be used to enable the green enterprise," say the authors.

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