The Greening of IT: More than a Passing Fad

A vendor’s "greenness" matters to IT executives says research firm IDC

Green IT is starting to snag executive mindshare. Increasingly, industry watchers say, executives are making purchasing decisions based on the "greenness" of a vendor’s IT offerings.

One upshot of this, says market watcher International Data Corp. (IDC), is that Green IT is more than just a passing fad.

The trend is significant. According to IDC’s latest Green IT survey, 80 percent of executives say Green IT is growing in importance for their organizations, while nearly half—43 percent—say they take a vendor's greenness into account when they’re selecting suppliers.

Why the growing importance of Green IT? Rising data center power, cooling, and real-estate costs, top the list. According to IDC, executives also factor recyclability—the rising cost of recycling hazardous IT assets—into the equation.

"The spread of Green IT continues as organizations gain a better understanding of the benefits of going green," said Frank Gens, IDC's senior vice president of Research. "Once a distant afterthought, economic advantages, including reductions in operational costs, are driving Green IT adoption."

There’s an additional enticementaccording to Gens and IDC: half of the respondents now indicate that reducing their environmental impact is "important" or "very important" to senior management.

Executives are paying more than lip service to eco-friendly IT. In fact, according to 42 percent of survey respondents, IT will play a lead role or an important role in their organizations' efforts to reduce environmental impact.

There are signs organizations are serious about their commitments: one-third of respondents rated an IT supplier's greenness as "important" or "very important." (Overall, 43 percent of respondents take the greenness of non-IT suppliers into account when making purchasing decisions.)

Finally, an overwhelming majority of organizations cite economic incentives—and not just public-relations benefits—as primary drivers for going Green: 81 percent of respondents identify green products' ability to reduce operating costs as the most important reason for considering a supplier's greenness.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.

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