IT staff are unsure of the implications of green IT and where to invest their technology budgets, according to the research organisation Gartner.
Rakesh Kumar, research VP, Gartner, said, “The IT industry is saturated with green IT talk. Conferences, presentations and consultants are springing up to give guidance and advice on a range of issues that are being codified under the generic term of ‘green IT’. Unfortunately, with so much hype, IT staff are left with a sense of confusion about where and when they should invest their time and money.”
According to Gartner, green technologies, services and legislation should be split into short-, mid- and long-term activities.
Short-term green IT issues over the next two years are power, cooling, and space in data centres and offices. Gartner suggests that IT departments should focus on virtualisation and server consolidation, energy management in offices, modern design concepts for data centres, combined heat and power, and advanced cooling technologies.
In the mid-term, covering the next two to five years, green technologies will mature and become important to IT groups wanting to develop greener IT organisations, although much of the planning for these new products should be done earlier and in the context of an overall IT strategy, for example where government legislation (e.g. affecting building design) may come into force. Mid-term areas to consider include green IT procurement, green asset life-cycle programmes, changing people’s behaviour, and green legislation for data centres
Long-term green IT covers the next five to 20 years and is where Gartner says that much of the industry hype or ‘greenwash’ comes from. Despite that, long-term areas to consider include carbon offsetting/trading, data-centre heat recycling, alternative energy sources, software efficiency, and green legislation.