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U.S. Colleges: Who Cares about Green IT?

Private enterprise has made Green IT a centerpiece of its overall IT strategy, but that isn't the case with U.S. colleges. According to a recent study done by IT solutions company CDW-G, less than 25 percent of IT pros in higher education said that saving energy is "very important."

The website eCampus News reports that:

Less than a quarter of higher-education technology officials who responded to the survey said reducing energy use is "very important" when pitted against other IT missions, according to the "2009 Energy Efficient IT Report," published by IT solutions company CDW-G earlier this month.

No reasons were given as to why Green IT has such a low priority on campus. One issue may be that the recession has hit many campuses hard, as endowments have dwindled for private universities, and public universities have gotten less money from the states.

Ironically, though, even though colleges say that Green IT is a low priority, it appears that they are taking significant steps to green their IT infrastructure. For example, 38 percent of technology departments had cut energy costs since last year, according to the report.

In addition, the article notes that many colleges have turned to cloud computing rather than maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and cloud computing helps green IT. In fact, according to the Google Blog more than five million students at thousands of schools in more than 145 countries use the cloud-based Google Apps Education Edition.

Finally, at 43 percent of college and university IT departments, the IT department is responsible for paying for its own energy, the report says. That's usually a sign that IT will ultimately go green, because it means costs savings.

So it may be that even though college IT pros say they don't care about Green IT, in fact they do. Their actions speak louder than their words.

Campus photo CC-licensed by Flickr user ycr .

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