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Companies put off green IT by cost

More than 80 percent of organisations have moved green IT further up their list of priorities, although it still lags well behind issues such as security, legacy software, data quality and server consolidation.

That's according to research from the Corporate iT Forum, a user organisation comprising representatives of 150 large organisations, which recently surveyed its membership to assess the interest in green computing issues within UK enterprises.

The survey revealed that 81 percent of organisations said that Green IT had moved further up the agenda compared to last year.

However, cost is seen as a crucial sticking point; there’s evidence that organisations will be reluctant to implement green measures if it means that costs will rise. "As one manager said to us, "if it saves us money, we’ll do it: if it doesn’t we’ll think twice,’ – that’s a typical attitude,” said Ian Campbell, speaking at the European Green IT Summit in London.

"We found that managers often struggled to present a sound business case – that was the biggest inhibitor," he added. The survey found that for 69 percent of managers, cost efficiency was the key to implementing greener policies and 51 percent of organisations used the implementation of such policies as an opportunity to save money.

Although green IT was listed only eighth in an IT manager’s priorities, Campbell pointed out that 10 or 20 years ago, it wouldn’t have featured on the list at all.

The survey also looked at particular green policies adopted by enterprises. Only 12 percent had installed datacentre cooling apparatus. "It surprised us how low that figure was," admitted Campbell. More popular were 15 percent of organisations using who were recycling datacentre heating and 19 percent who were using some form of carbon offsetting.

Campbell said that one of the major problems faced by organisations was in measuring the impact that green policies had. “There are no accepted standards, just a range of multiple measures. We’d like to set of national and international measures adopted,” adding that this sort of benchmarking would really help IT managers and CIOs push green IT further up the agenda.

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