IT industry approach to green issues “unsustainable”

Electrical power consumption has become a headline issue in the ‘greener IT’ debate, but this is just the tip of a melting iceberg for an IT industry that is currently unsustainable, according to Gartner.

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Electrical power consumption has become a headline issue in the ‘greener IT’ debate, but this is just the tip of a melting iceberg for an IT industry that is currently unsustainable, according to Gartner.

Steve Prentice, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst said: “Financial and environmental pressures, compounded by legislative changes and increasing consumer awareness, are combining to force IT vendors and CIOs to take a closer look at the impact ‘green’ will have on their business.

“The IT industry must now look beyond the current power issue and pay greater attention to broader issues, such as limiting carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, using materials from renewable resources, recycling materials and reusing heat from data centres.”

The analyst firm urged CIOs taking a fresh look at lifecycle management within the organisation to identify opportunities to minimise the impact of IT on the environment, at the same time as meeting business objectives.

Most large enterprise IT organisations typically spend in the region of four to eight percent, in some cases 10% of their total IT budgets on energy. But the twin factors of power hungry hardware and rising energy costs could lead to this figure rising by up to four times within five years at the same time as 374 million PCs will be consigned to landfill sites or storage.

Gartner said electrical power needed to run servers is not the only issue. Power is also needed for storage devices, networking controllers, uninterrupted power supplies and air conditioning. A realistic total figure for data centre power consumption is therefore at least double that used on servers alone.

 
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