One third of firms have no plans for ‘green IT’

10 Mar 2008

A third of European organisations have no plans to reduce energy consumption caused by their use of information technology, it has emerged.

The main obstacle to investing in environmentally friendly technology is cost and a lack of knowledge of the appropriate energy-saving alternatives, a survey by British infrastructure software firm BEA Systems has found.

BEA Systems said there is significant variation in the maturity of European organisations’ green IT initiatives. The survey revealed 27pc of organisations already have a plan in place to reduce energy and emissions caused by their use of IT; 10pc have a plan ready but not yet in place; 22pc are working on a plan; and 33pc currently have no plans at all to reduce IT energy and emissions.

At 47pc, Dutch companies were the most likely to have a plan already in place.

For those organisations with plans in place, 55pc cited rising energy costs as the prime motivator, followed by corporate social responsibility (cited by 45pc), regulatory compliance (41pc) and storage capacity (15pc).

Reducing technology waste and recycling are the key environmental priorities for these European organisations, with the second goal being the efficient management of utility energy such as data centre heating and lighting. Reducing IT power consumption is the third priority, the survey found.

Some 53pc of organisations cited cost as a major obstacle to introducing green IT initiatives, with 23pc citing a lack of understanding about what is available, 16pc citing a lack of suitable products and 16pc citing a lack of support from the board or senior management.

Some 39pc of companies reported they are ‘not very aware’ of virtualisation, with only 7pc describing themselves as ‘very aware’.

“It is heartening to see a rising trend among European organisations to adopt sustainable, green IT strategies,” says Martin Percival, senior technology evangelist, EMEA, BEA Systems. “However, despite more organisations adopting plans to reduce energy and emissions caused by the use of IT, it is clear many are not aware of the practical technology solutions available today that will help deliver the environmental efficiency they seek.

“For those organisations actively associated with green IT initiatives, the adoption of hardware, server, or Java virtualisation techniques will help form the four R’s of responsible IT provision: reduce, reuse, recycle, and re-engineer.”

The BEA Sustainable IT Survey 2008 was conducted by technology market research specialists Vanson Bourne during January 2008 across 480 respondents in 12 countries.

By Niall Byrne