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Green no longer at top of business agenda

Cost savings have risen back to the top of the business agenda, whilst environmental IT is not even of secondary importance to the board, according to a survey.

Carbon footprint reduction was only the tenth most important driver for adopting unified communications (UC) for IT managers and CIOs.

However, UC - the umbrella term for the integration of many communication channels including voice, e-mail, fax, instant messaging, video-conferencing and web collaboration through a single user-interface - produces environmental benefits as a by-product.

Twenty three percent of businesses with a UC strategy identified a reduced carbon footprint as a concrete benefit of UC, according to a survey of 00 CIOs and IT managers of organisations with 1,000 or more employees in the UK.

But, the top three drivers for UC adoption were cost savings, greater business efficiency and reduced travels costs, according to the survey conducted conducted by independent researcher Vanson Bourne for specialist IT solutions and services provider Dimension Data.

Whilst the economy, and IT in particular, was booming, the green agenda was at the forefront of the CEO and the board's mind. A survey in 2007 found that 98 percent of IT directors and managers were concerned about the impact that their organisation was having on the environment.

But, as there are few legislative requirements for companies regarding Green IT and in the economic downturn, environmental concerns could slip down the board's list of priorities.

The green benefits of UC were shown by the 57 percent of IT managers with a UC strategy who reported reduced travel costs, with an average reduction of 11.7 per cent. Rob Stanley, line of business director of Microsoft Solutions at Dimension Data, said that while overt environmental concern was somewhat lacking in IT managers, the focus on reducing travel costs was revealing.

"It's a virtuous circle with UC, and you can have 'carbon-conscious communications' regardless of intent. Reducing travel by providing flexible or remote-working leads to less environmental impact."

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