Green computing increasingly important for IT managers

Green computing increasingly important for IT managers

Corporate, social and environmental responsibility is the main driver behind the increased investment

Green computing is becoming an increasingly critical issue for IT managers, according to research from blue-chip user group The Corporate IT Forum.

Some 81 per cent of the 171 large UK-based companies polled said that green IT is more important than it ever has been and is a growing priority.

Strategies being put in place to go green include educating users (83 per cent), server virtualisation (71 per cent), recycling hardware (71 per cent), virtual conferencing (61 per cent) and actively managing print output (61 per cent).

Corporate, social and environmental responsibility plans are the strongest reason behind moving towards green technology, said the survey.

“Developing best practice for green IT is now a standard process within large businesses – and is backed by the board,” said David Roberts, chief executive of The Corporate IT Forum.

“But the survey shows that green IT is just one priority among many. The reality is that companies have a range of competing priorities – such as information security, legacy systems and data quality – and some of the large green initiatives require big investments.”

One of the main problems related to green IT is the lack of clear implementation guidelines, said Marks & Spencer head of strategy and architecture Alan French, speaking at the European Green IT Summit held today in London.

“If we have to do all the digging ourselves without standards that actually mean something, it is hard to make 100 per cent environmentally-friendly choices when choosing equipment,” he said.

Implementation of green technology needs to match shareholders’ expectations and also creates a challenge, said French.

“The challenge is to marry the ambitions of the business with creation of shareholder value,” he said.

Going green must make economic sense, said Citigroup head of realty services John Killey.

“When developing sustainable IT strategies, businesses must focus on improving overall reliability with lower capital cost.” he said.

“One way of doing that is minimising risk by having on-site energy generation, so that the business has clear visibility of what their energy consumption is.”