Green IT Initiatives Move Up the Corporate Agenda

Green IT Initiatives Move Up the Corporate Agenda

A growing number of companies are making green IT initiatives a higher priority and have dedicated budgets for such projects as the pursuit of environmentally conscious strategies becomes more of a standard practice in the business world, according to a study by CompTIA.

The nonprofit association for the information technology industry released its  Second Annual Green IT Insights and Opportunities study this week. The findings point to the increasing prominence of IT in business and as a factor in how companies manage their energy consumption, carbon footprint and other environmental impacts of their facilities and operations.

"IT is coming out of the server closet," said Seth Robinson, CompTIA's director of information technology analysis.

The organization's online survey of 650 IT and business executives involved in green initiatives or strategies in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany found that:

  • Green IT is moving up the corporate agenda. While green IT initiatives typically are viewed as middle-range priorities in business, 37 percent of firms currently rate green IT as an "upper-half organizational priority." Only 9 percent ranked green IT as highly in 2009.  Looking ahead, 54 percent are expected to view green IT as an upper-tier priority in 2013.
  • More companies are budgeting for green IT. One in five companies now have a dedicated budget allocated for green IT initiatives, and 44 percent say they are moving toward doing so.
  • Green strategies and practices are on the rise. Thirty-five percent of firms pursue comprehensive green strategies, which can include reducing energy consumption, use or design of equipment, recycling or product disposal, managing carbon footprint and employee engagement. Forty-two percent say they have a partial green strategy and 24 percent report having no strategy in place, though their companies may engage in some green practices. Among the firms that currently do not have a comprehensive green strategy, 48 percent expect to have one in place within two years.
  • Use of software for monitoring and controlling energy is poised for growth. Sixteen percent of respondents said their companies use energy management software and 48 percent said they plan to do so.

As other research has found, the CompTIA study shows that the growing pursuit of green practices occurs even though people may be unsure of what green means. "Green IT remains a fuzzy concept to many," the study noted.

Overall, the study findings bode well for IT professionals within companies as well as for businesses that offer IT products and services with a green component or provide environmental management solutions.

Opportunities for IT professionals and businesses are expected to grow as the drive for energy efficiency and resource management becomes more of a multidisciplinary effort across companies -- rather than siloed activities within specific departments -- and IT is layered onto solutions, Robinson said. "It will be interesting to see how people integrate the new paradigm of including IT into decisions that they haven't included in before," he said.

Image CC licensed Flickr user wetwebwork.