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IT Managers Have Green On Their Minds, But Not On The Books, Says Report

Environmental factors are important, report shows, but only 25% of managers have written green criteria into their purchasing processes, largely due to lack of soup-to-nuts product strategies.
While the majority of IT procurement and operations executives are interested in buying products that are environmentally friendly and energy efficient, most companies don't have formal "green" criteria for their tech purchasing decisions.

That's the conclusion of a report by Forrester, which found that 85% of the 124 executives surveyed say environmental factors are important in their IT planning, but only 25% of them have written green criteria into their purchasing processes.

"There's a high percentage of awareness, but a low percentage of executives doing anything" in terms of making green a requirement in their IT purchasing, says Chris Mines, the Forrester analyst who authored the new report, Tapping Buyers' Growing Interest In Green IT.

Part of the problem is that while vendors are "making some noise" about the energy efficiency potential of their products, such as blade servers or virtualization software, "there haven't been holistic strategies" articulated by vendors that range from the desktop to the data center, Mines said.

That changed a bit on Thursday for IBM, which announced it was reallocating $1 billion to advance its offering of green IT products and services.

Deftly called Project Big Green, IBM's initiative focuses on corporate data centers. The offerings range from preconfigured data centers to services and new tools to help assess the energy efficiency of data centers, including identifying thermal hot spots.

The new offerings aren't being targeted only to tree huggers. "Yes, it's appealing to the environmentally aware customers. But it's also for those looking to save money," says Peter McCaffrey, program director for IBM virtualization. Within the next month, IBM also is planning announcements related to new virtualization and blade products, he says.

IBM estimates that for every dollar spent on hardware in a data center, another 50 cents is spent on the energy to power the systems, says Mike Daniel, a senior IBM VP. IBM estimates it can help most customers reduce their energy consumption by 50% within six to eight weeks through "remedial opportunities," he says.

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