Senior-level IT executives report significant interest in green IT strategies and solutions, attributed to both cost reduction and environmental responsibility. This points to a shift from implementing "green" technologies primarily for cost reduction purposes, to a more balanced awareness of also improving the organisation's environmental standing.
This is one of the results of Symantec's 2009 Green IT Report, a follow up to the Green Data Center report released in late 2007.
In the survey, 97% of respondents state they are at least discussing a green IT strategy, while 45% have already implemented green IT initiatives.
IT decision makers are increasingly justifying green IT solutions by more than cost and IT efficiency benefits. Respondents cited key drivers as reducing electricity consumption (90%), reducing cooling costs (87%), and corporate pressure to be "green" (86%). Furthermore, 83% of respondents are now responsible or cross-charged for the electricity consumed in the data center-bringing visibility and accountability to bear on the ultimate consumer of these resources.
"Over the past 12 months, IT has emerged as a new driving force in implementing green initiatives – not only for energy savings benefits, but also as a result of widespread desire to implement environmentally responsible practices," says Sheldon Hand, storage specialist at Symantec. "The pendulum has swung both ways and IT is now taking a balanced approach that is more integral to an organisation's 'green' strategy, proven by the fact that the vast majority of respondents are now responsible for the energy costs of their data center."
IT executives report a significant increase in green IT budgets, with 73% expecting an increase over the next 12 months, and 19% expecting increases of more than 10%. The typical respondent reported spending $21-million to $27-million on data centre electricity.
At the same time, IT is willing to pay a premium for energy efficient products. Two-thirds of respondents said they would pay at least 10% more, while 41% are willing to pay at least 20% more. Additionally, 89% of respondents said IT product efficiency is either important or very important.
As organisations continue to adopt programs and practices to drive environmental responsibility throughout the enterprise, IT is increasingly important to the broader enterprise "green" efforts. Perhaps the strongest indicator, 83% of IT departments report they are now responsible or cross-charged for electricity, providing a strong motivator for IT to reduce energy costs.
Furthermore, 89% think IT should play a very or extremely significant role in 'green' efforts and 82% have a corporate green advocate, with more than one-fifth focusing exclusively on IT initiatives.
IT professionals are regularly deploying several key initiatives for green IT purposes. Replacing old equipment was the most popular strategy, with 95% reporting new energy efficient equipment as part of their strategy, followed by monitoring power consumption (94%), server virtualisation (94%), and server consolidation (93%). Additionally, more than half (57%) of respondents see software-as-a-service offerings as "green" solutions.