Green IT failing to have an impact

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UK businesses which have implemented green IT policies are seeing average energy savings of just 10 per cent, according to research released this week.

Bell Micro said that energy savings of over 50 per cent are "completely absent" in larger organisations, raising a question over the current value of supposedly 'green' activities.

The distributor found a clear disconnect between 'going green' and demonstrable energy savings.

Only 12 per cent of the 21 per cent of organisations with a green IT policy have quantified any energy savings as a result of their initiatives.

Meanwhile, 19 per cent still say that it is too early to tell, and 65 per cent admit that they do not know what energy savings have been made. Four per cent admitted to no savings at all.

However, 62 per cent of organisations interviewed for the research did recognise that savings could be made in the long run from green IT initiatives.

Some 89 per cent of those without a current green IT policy thought that significant energy savings in the IT department alone could be made by introducing measures that will lead to greener IT behaviour.

"It is encouraging that businesses are recognising the need to embrace a greener approach in the day-to-day operational running of a company," said Antony Young, director of the services, security and networking divisions at Bell Micro.

"But for those few that have engaged with green IT, these latest findings should be ringing alarm bells."

Young added that a green IT policy is not just an ethical decision, and that it should also address the bottom line in providing demonstrable savings against operational costs.

"What this data is showing is that operational savings in many cases would be at best described as negligible," he said.

Statistically, for organisations with a green IT policy, tangible savings have been recorded almost equally across SMEs (14 per cent) and large organisations (12 per cent).

But among those that quantified their energy savings, which range from two per cent to 90 per cent, the median figure was just 10 per cent.

The value of adopting a green approach therefore remains inconclusive for the majority of companies that have made efforts to embrace an environmentally aware IT policy.

"These figures tell us that green IT still has a long way to go if it is to deliver real operational savings and therefore be more widely accepted," said Young.

"Businesses need to be more thorough in regard to the application of green IT policies, while resellers and vendors must be more vigorous in the provision of assessment and monitoring services that can deliver truly green IT systems and solutions that pass longer term savings onto customers."
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