Gartner: 2009 A Gap Year For Green IT

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The analyst claims that spending on sustainable tech projects in some countries could be on hold for the rest of the year

Some companies won’t allocate cash to long term green tech projects this year, according to analyst company Gartner’s latest survey on the state of spending around sustainable and efficient IT.

In a report released this week, Gartner analysts said that 2009 was effectively a “gap year” for long term green IT projects in some countries as companies try to keep a lid on budgets as the global recession continues to bite.

“Despite the apparent strength of green IT projects highlighted by the survey, for most organisations not looking to exploit the opportunities of climate change strategically, 2009 will be a gap year for green projects lacking a short-term cost-cutting and efficiency focus. Longer term, we believe environmental sustainability will remain an important business issue,” said Simon Mingay, research vice president at Gartner.

According to Gartner, a significant number of organisations in the US and Brazil, won’t put money behind green IT projects in 2009. But the analyst tempered this by saying that in Europe and Asia/Pacific, the recession could even increase the priority of green IT projects.

Of those companies that had specific capital expenditure budget set aside for green IT – around one fifth of respondents – more than one-third of respondents in Europe thought they would spend nearly one fifth of their IT budgets on green IT projects.

“The broad area of green IT covering areas such as carbon reporting and offsetting, videoconferencing and green procurement will continue to be a key pillar of IT strategy and architecture during the next 10 years,” said Rakesh Kumar, research vice president at Gartner. “This is because the political and scientific imperatives around the climate change will continue to push governments, international bodies and organisations as stakeholders increase the pressure to focus on environmental sustainability.”

Gartner said that only 60 organisations surveyed – tem percent of respondents – had no green IT projects at the time of the survey. But the analyst added that – with the exception of Asia/Pacific which is still behind the curve on green projects – most organisations with no green IT projects at moment had plans to remedy this in the near future.