CDW-G Survey Shows Green IT a Focus But Not a Priority

In honor of Earth Day, CDW-G (the governmental vertical-focused wing of CDW) has released its yearly report on energy efficiency in the IT workplace. While many organizations note that energy efficiency it important, the survey results show not all corporations have taken up a position to implement said technology. Read on for a breakdown on what companies are doing, and how this may or may not impact the channel.

First up, the key findings from CDW:

IT managers have indeed placed importance on energy-efficient technology, but the percentage of IT managers buying new equipment that meets energy efficiency standards was only 39 percent in 2010. That figure is up from 26 percent in 2009, but it is still low.

However, despite that low number, 66 percent of IT managers agree IT efficiency is critical to their profession. But the "Green IT" moniker doesn't just cover newer hardware, the survey shows -- in some situations, consolidation has been enough to reduce energy costs, and 79 percent of organizations responding to the CDW-G survey currently have or are developing data center consolidations.

But the real pull to "go green" -- so to speak -- isn't always there. Even though 74 percent of organizations have or are developing IT energy programs to reduce use, according to the survey, only 56 percent have actually reduced their costs by 1 percent or more. What's more, many managers struggle to find funds to even start an energy efficiency program due to lack of support from senior management, which tend to place priority on investing in other parts of a company. After lack of budget and managerial direction, the third biggest reason for lack of energy efficient IT initiatives is plain apathy. A direct quote from survey is telling:

"Electricity is included in our lease. There is no incentive to save energy."
CDW suggests that cost concerns "may be more perception than reality," since apparently, only 17 percent of surveyed IT managers believed that the cost of energy efficient IT equipment is "prohibitive."

Green IT has been bandied about for a number of years now as another potential revenue stream for the channel, and CDW-G's survey shows that potential still exists. And with newer technologies starting to grow in popularity, channel partners can pitch consolidation strategies with cloud or virtual machines as a way to "go green." Replacing multiple old appliances with one that can handle a number of different tasks is another tack channel partners can take -- the new appliance might not be "energy efficient" in the traditional sense, but one appliance is likely to take up less energy than three older ones. Clearly, the demand for Green IT exists, but knowledge and understanding about how to implement the initiative isn't fully understood. Channel partners can use this to their advantage to educate their customers and be that trusted adviser.

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