It'll Be a Good Year for Green IT, IDC Predicts

It'll Be a Good Year for Green IT, IDC Predicts

Global economic worries -- and a slowdown in overall IT spending -- will actually help spur adoption of energy-efficient technologies and other green IT strategies, according to a new report from IDC.

The report, "IDC Predictions 2009: An Economic Pressure Cooker Will Accelerate the IT Industry Transformation," does not predict fat times for IT departments, but rather suggests that, given a limited budget for tech refreshes and new purchases, more companies will put their money where it will have the most impact: green IT and cloud computing, most notably.

"Although one would expect to see businesses and consumers to 'hunker down' and put IT spending on hold, it is more likely that technology spending will continue in areas where the benefits are clear," Frank Gens, IDC's senior vice president and chief analyst, said in a statement. "While all sectors of the market will experience slower growth in 2009, the disruptive offerings and models that are transforming the industry will take less of a beating than traditional IT areas and will actually gain share faster in the down economy."

Green IT in particular will grow, although IDC predicts that it will be "disguised as 'cost cutting,'" as companies adopt technologies with rapid payback times, whether they be power management systems, energy-efficient computers and servers, or facility management technologies for offices and data centers.

Earlier this week, we reported on the $1 billion in savings Hewlett-Packard expects to achieve through optimizing its IT departments. It is this kind of potential that IDC sees as a key driver for green IT even while the rest of the economy goes lean.

Another top trend in the report include cloud computing, which similar to green IT offers quick cost-savings and performance improvements as companies outsource their data needs to large-scale and highly efficient third parties.

Also making the list of predictions for 2009 are broad and severe cutbacks for two sectors: IDC predicts a slowdown of half or more for the global market, and suggests that "it will be a grim year for mobile gadgets." On the brighter side, the company's analysts predict that government-led initiatives in 2009 will lead to large-scale investments in IT, and could result overall in industry growth.

The report is available for purchase from IDC.com.