Companies Need Green IT Plan, Study Reveals

Despite retailers’ growing awareness that environmental concerns will impact their future IT operations, many companies have not yet established “green IT” requirements encompassing how they buy and use technology. These points were revealed in a new report, “Tapping Buyers’ Growing Interest In Green IT,” released by Forrester Research, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

While 85% of 124 IT operations and procurement executives in North America and Europe said environmental factors are important in planning IT operations, only 25% actually have written green criteria into their firms’ purchasing processes.

“Two reasons why green matters are efficiency and corporate responsibility,” said Christopher Mines, senior VP, Forrester Research. “Most IT decision-makers told us that a green purchase would only happen in the context of cost reduction. These are hard-headed, ROI-driven business decisions.”

Companies eager to see cost savings for green-driven initiatives expect their technology partners to educate them about environmentally responsible products and services. But some technology vendors need to step up their efforts in this regard.

Some companies, including Advanced Micro Devices, Cisco, Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems, are making significant investments in green initiatives, such as energy-efficient servers, data-center power and cooling solutions, cleaner manufacturing, and device-recycling programs. Yet, only 15% of participants said they have a high-level of awareness of vendors’ green initiatives. Worse, most said they hear “little to nothing” from top-tier vendors about their green-solution offerings.

“Technology marketers today will find increasingly receptive audiences for green evangelism,” said Mines. “Slowly, that receptivity will translate into action on the part of enterprise IT organizations.”