Forrester: Businesses insist on cost benefits from green IT

UK businesses are demanding clear cost benefits from their green IT initiatives, according to Forrester.

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UK businesses are demanding clear cost benefits from their green IT initiatives, according to Forrester.

The pressure is on as eighty six percent of IT executives press ahead with their green plans, Forrester and events firm Tech Touchstone found.

Most of the work involved changes in datacentres and desktop environments, they said, in their 'Forrester and Tech:Touchstone Events 2009 green IT UK report' following a survey of delegates at the Green IT Conference and Exhibition in London in May.

Half of businesses wanted green IT investments to slash their energy consumption, and four in 10 wanted to extend the life of their technology.

A telecoms IT executive who was interviewed for the report stated: “Costs speak to our management. At this point, any requests for funding of green IT activities must first be supported by a business case that examines costs and the comparative return on that investment.”

A number of firms said they could extract funds for green IT projects from their corporate social responsibility budgets. One quarter of those surveyed said green IT played a part in achieving their CSR goals.

“We had a server virtualisation project that was stalled due to funding,” said a chief information officer at a large food retailer. “We approached our corporate CSR team once we heard they had resources available for projects with demonstrable green outcomes, specifically energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction.

“Based on the project’s green benefits — it would significantly improve the organisation’s carbon footprint by removing power-hungry servers from the datacentre — we were able to secure funding and appreciably accelerate the project's timeline.”

Forty three percent of British businesses are already executing a green IT action plan, with a similar proportion devising such a scheme for the future.

Datacentres and desktop environments were key areas of focus for UK firms. Some 85 percent have server virtualisation schemes in place, with 82 percent exploring more efficient cooling. Half of businesses were exploring the implementation of thin clients, and 21 percent had already implemented the technology.

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