Stuart Dommett, business development manager at Intel, told delegates at Computing's IT Leaders Forum that businesses should not replace their physical PC estate with thin clients just to fulfil a green agenda.
"What is greener, a five-year-old PC or a thin client? The five-year-old PC," asked Dommett.
He added that he had been arguing this point in discussions with the government. "If you are going to throw away something that is perfectly usable, that's not green," he said.
"I think a lot of organisations are making technology architecture decisions without actually understanding the business rationale behind doing it. You don't have to refresh your whole architecture to achieve some of the benefits of a green agenda."
Dommett argued that enterprises and CIOs should understand their green strategy fully before trying to establish solutions such as thin clients. He suggested that other virtualisation techniques could be more effective.
"By using virtualisation, you can start to deliver green efficiencies. You can keep your PC estate but begin to take the operating system off it. You can use virtualisation to stream the operating system to the PC or provide a hosted desktop," he said.
"Always consider your business case, and use other techniques to save your old PCs when you can."