Green IT - and calculating an ROI on it - moves up the CIO's agenda

I was interested in this article based on a survey, which suggests that Green IT is getting more traction within organisations.

Admittedly, ‘Green IT’ as a category is to some extent being encompassed by a redefinition towards broader low carbon and sustainability, but this Australian survey shows that organisations using ‘Green’ IT have increased 5 per cent during the second half of last year with nearly three-quarters of CIOs having deployed more environmentally sustainable products and services.

Research firm Ovum surveyed 500 CIOs and IT decision makers during the second half of 2010 from Europe, the US, Middle East and Australia.

Admittedly, the Australian sample size was not the largest, with 43 CIOs from small and mid-sized organisations. But the survey shows that the number of organisations using Green IT grew to 73 per cent in the second half of 2010, up from some 68 per cent in the first half. The reasons for this include tight IT budgets and a sluggish economy forcing IT decision makers to scrutinise spending and realise any potential cost savings Green IT can deliver.

Ovum’s analysis makes for interesting reading. Rhonda Ascierto, Ovum analyst and author of a new report, Green IT Deployments Across Key Global Markets, said the growth in Green IT penetration reflects a change of attitude by CIOs.

“Previously, they considered Green IT optional because they defined its value primarily in terms of corporate image, rather than the bottom line,” Ascierto said.

“It is now viewed as a core technology that that delivers business value by cutting costs and increasing efficiency. We believe this change has occurred because of constrained IT budgets and a sluggish global economy in the wake of the recession, which forced organisations to scrutinise spending on all types of IT. Many CIOs have for the first time had to calculate a financial return on investment of Green IT.”

The survey asked CIOs about five major categories of Green IT: data centre virtualisation, data centre power and cooling technologies, desktop virtualisation, printing and paper usage management, and power management tools for PCs and monitors.

While all will experience growth over the next couple of years, data centre virtualisation has the greatest penetration, with 52 per cent of CIOs surveyed saying they use it. According to Ovum, this figure will grow to 80 per cent by 2013.