More proof that going green can save money

As part of Dell’s ambitious pledge to become the greenest technology company on the planet, we’ve partnered with IDC, the respected analyst firm, to undertake a huge study of companies in Western Europe to see the degree to which green IT has come of age. The IDC Green IT Barometer looks set to become an annual snapshot of green sentiment in Europe.

The research included the views of an impressive 459 IT directors of European organisations with more than 1,000 employees and operating at least one datacentre.

Your interpretation of the results will be influenced by whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist. Almost exactly half of European enterprises now have a formal green IT strategy in place (if you’re a pessimist, almost half don’t!). But those that do have a green IT strategy predict they’ll save money this year. These are large companies, spending on average 160 million euros per year on IT. Those with a green IT strategy expect to deliver 14.5% real cost savings in the next 12 months – that equates to an massive 23.2 million euros per year.

There are many hurdles for firms to overcome on the way to establishing a formal green IT strategy. The most frequently mentioned challenges were lack of in-house skills and expertise; other constraints and priorities which are not compatible with a green IT strategy, and plain lack of time.

Dell has made it a priority to minimise environmental impacts at each stage of the lifecycle, from product design to manufacturing and operations to customer ownership and product retirement. We’re developing products and that are the most energy efficient in the world, thus helping our customers to reduce power consumption and increase efficiency. Also Energy Smart Data Centre Assessment services can help customers build more energy-efficient IT infrastructures.

A number of conclusions can be drawn from the IDC study. Perhaps most importantly, green IT strategies won’t succeed if they are pursued in an IT silo. Collaboration is required across disciplines within organisations, and amongst trading partners. Information is essential to understanding what needs to change. The key is to understand the true cost of ownership. This can be a challenge if the IT department doesn’t pay for energy costs.

Increasingly, green IT is becoming a corporate responsibility. 19% of companies in Europe have appointed someone whose role is dedicated to the implementation of a green IT strategy. For these companies, green IT has gone beyond an aspiration, and has become a way to save money whilst acting responsibly. That’s a double whammy, even if you’re a pessimist…

About the Author: Stuart Handley