Firms taking a "gap year" on green IT

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Firms taking a "gap year" on green IT

Many firms will take a "gap year" from green IT projects in 2009 as they look to shore up balance sheets hit by the global economic recession, according to Gartner.

A report by the analyst found that the downturn has reduced the importance of green IT projects in 32 per cent of US organisations, 15 per cent of firms in Europe, 25 per cent in Asia Pacific and 32 per cent in Brazil.

The results suggest the capital expenditure required on such projects mean they could be put on hold, despite their long-term cost-saving benefits, according to Gartner analyst Simon Mingay.

"For most organisations not looking to exploit the opportunities of climate change strategically, 2009 will be a gap year for green projects lacking a short-term cost-cutting and efficiency focus," he said.

The Gartner survey of 620 IT decision-makers also found that 20 per cent of respondents had no green IT projects at all, though 45 per cent of US, 58 per cent of European and 15 per cent of Asia/Pacific respondents, said they were likely to launch such initiatives in the future.

Political and scientific imperatives around climate change will continue to push the green agenda in the long term, said Rakesh Kumar, research vice president at Gartner.

“The broad area of green IT covering areas such as carbon reporting and offsetting, videoconferencing and green procurement, will continue to be a key pillar of IT strategy and architecture during the next 10 years,” he said.

And IT services firms need to focus on the short-term benefits of green programmes if they are to sell them to customers, said Kumar.

"For technology and service providers, when considering positioning a solution as green, providers need to consider whether it will save organisations money in less than 12 to 24 months," he said.

"If not, they need to focus on the green benefits within the context of a broader business case for sustainability."
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