Green IT at the forefront of the CIO agenda

Adoption of eco-friendly computing is fast emerging as a priority for technology decision makers, according to new survey published today.

A report based on the survey findings, 2008 Trends to Watch: Green IT, is predicting a surge in interest in green IT among top-level IT management, like chief information officers.

The Datamonitor survey of 245 CIOs and IT managers found over 75 per cent considered eco-friendly computing as an important element in their IT strategy while a further 15 per cent rated it as their top IT priority.

It also found one in five firms have incorporated a green IT agenda in their business strategy with a further third set to do so within the next two years, said Vamshi Mokshagundam, Datamonitor technology analyst and the report's author.

"We're expecting to see considerable levels of interest in this area in future, particularly in the face of the global economic downturn," he told IT PRO.

He added that interest is being fuelled by the dual challenge faced today by IT organisations of shrinking budgets and sprawling infrastructure footprints. In addition, regulations around data privacy and electronic waste disposal are on the rise.

"They are beginning to identify what eco-friendly opportunities within their own IT strategies can deliver significant cost savings, increased flexibility in managing IT resources and compliance with environmental regulations," said Mokshagundam.

The Datamonitor research comes at a time when many within the IT department freely admit to confusion and a lack of information about green IT and its implications to both the environment and the bottom line of the business.

The survey also found virtualisation technologies are already used by one in three companies that had a green IT strategy. And their popularity is being fuelled by the duel benefit of significant cost savings and reductions in enterprise carbon footprints.

And over two thirds of enterprises had a formal programme in place to recycle their IT assets. The report also cited the emergence of more power-efficient technologies like Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and Solid State Disks (SSD), as well as software as a service (SaaS) for its shared delivery infrastructure, as also encouraging the trend.