study reveals green data center focus

IT security solutions provider Symantec ( announced on Thursday it has released the results of its 2009 Green IT Report, a follow up to the Green Data Center report released in late 2007.

Earlier this year, Symantec released the findings of its 2008 State of the Data Center report, which showed that data center managers are juggling the growing demands of user expectations and higher levels of performance with their primary objective of reducing overall costs.

According to the report, which can be downloaded here, senior-level IT executives report significant interest in green IT strategies and solutions in an effort to reduce costs and increase environmental responsibility.

The findings show a significant shift from implementing green technologies primarily for cost reduction purposes, to a greater awareness of also improving the organization's environmental status.

Ninety-seven percent of respondents say they are at least discussing a green IT strategy for their company, while 45 percent have already implemented green IT initiatives.

IT decision makers are increasingly justifying green IT solutions by more than cost and IT efficiency benefits.

Key drivers that respondents cited include reducing electricity consumption (90 percent), reducing cooling costs (87 percent), and mounting corporate pressure to be green (86 percent).

Additionally, 83 percent of respondents are now responsible or cross-charged for the electricity consumed in the data center, with the typical respondent reporting that they spend $21 to 27 million on electricity.

"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 Jose Iglesias, vice president of global solutions at Symantec. "The pendulum has swung both ways and IT is now taking a balanced approach that is more integral to an organization's green strategy, proven by the fact that the vast majority of respondents are now responsible for the energy costs of their data center."

The study also revealed that IT executives are noticeably increasing their green IT budgets, with 75 percent of respondents expecting an increase in green IT budgets over the next 12 months, and 19 percent expecting increases of more than 10 percent.

Respondents also said they were willing to pay a premium for energy efficient products, with 66 percent saying that they would pay at least 10 percent more, while 41 percent are willing to pay at least 20 percent more.

Additionally, 89 percent of respondents said IT product efficiency is either important or very important.

As organizations continue to adopt programs and practices to drive environmental responsibility throughout the enterprise, IT is increasingly important to the broader enterprise green efforts.

Furthermore, 89 percent think IT should play a very or extremely significant role in green efforts and 82 percent have a corporate green advocate, with more than 20 percent focusing exclusively on IT initiatives.

Meanwhile, the study shows that IT professionals are regularly deploying several key initiatives for green IT purposes.

Ninety-five percent reported that they are replacing old equipment with new energy efficient equipment, 94 percent that they are monitoring power consumption, 94 percent said they were adopting server virtualization, and 93 percent said they were implementing server consolidation.

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