New power struggles for CIOs

New power struggles for CIOs

Eighty-five per cent of IT departments in New Zealand and across the Asia Pacific are now responsible or cross-charged for electricity, reports Symantec.

Green ICT is now an “essential” for today’s enterprises and budgets for it are rising, according to a new global survey by Symantec. The 2009 Worldwide Green IT report reveals senior ICT executives have a significant interest in green ICT strategies and systems, and this is attributed to the twin drives to reduce costs and improve their organisations’ environmental standing.

At the same time, the report highlights the role of ICT departments to this shift. In the Asia Pacific region, for instance, an overwhelming 89 per cent feel IT should play an extremely significant role in green technology, and that 85 per cent of IT departments are now responsible or cross-charged for electricity.

Eight-five percent of enterprises have a green advocate and most of them have an IT focus, according to the report which is a follow up to Symantec’s Green Data Centre report in 2007. The 2009 report interviewed 1052 ICT executives worldwide, with 356 coming from the Asia Pacific including New Zealand and Australia.

“Over the past 12 months, IT has emerged as a new driving force in implementing green IT - not only for energy savings benefits, but also as a result of a widespread desire to implement environmentally responsible practices,” Jose Iglesias, vice president of global solutions at Symantec, says in a press statement. “The pendulum has swung both ways and IT is now taking a balanced approach that is more integral to an organisation’s ‘green’ strategy, proven by the fact the vast majority of respondents are now responsible for the energy costs of their data centre.”

Craig Scroggie, Symantec’s vice president and managing director of the Pacific region, points out one of the major findings in the survey is that companies are willing to pay a premium for more energy-efficient products. Three-fourths of the respondents would pay at least 10 per cent more for these products.

At the same time, he points out basic approaches to green strategy that enterprises could adopt, like turning off PCs at night or during the weekends when these are not in use. Respondents estimate that the median cost for electricity spent for each PC left on overnight is US$100 to $249 a year.

ICT departments report a number of key initiatives for green IT. In the Asia Pacific region, the top strategies consisted of replacing old equipment (96 per cent); monitoring power consumption (96 per cent); and server virtualisation/consolidation (94 per cent and 93 per cent). In addition, respondents see software as a service (Saas) as a green strategy.

On the global front, 97 per cent of respondents say they are at least discussing a green IT strategy, while 45 per cent have already implemented green IT initiatives.

Respondents say the following are the key drivers to green ICT: Reduce electricity consumption (90 percent), reduce cooling costs (87 per cent) and corporate pressure to be “green” (86 per cent).

IT executives report a significant increase in green IT budgets. Seventy-three per cent expect an increase in green IT budgets over the next 12 months, with 19 per cent expecting increases of more than 10 per cent.

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Tags strategyCIO rolecostGreen technology

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