Recession Drives Green IT Into Data Centres

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Despite squeezed budgets, green IT is changing tech buying behaviour and data centre structures.

A report just published by independent market analyst Datamonitor has found that, while the current recession is putting pressure on enterprise IT budgets, it may also prove to be a significant upside to the market for green IT.

“The global economic recession has spurred a paradigm shift in the way organisations evaluate, budget for and deploy green IT”, says Rhonda Ascierto, senior analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report, ‘Can Green IT Bloom in an Economic Downturn?’.

“The downturn has also resulted in green IT trends for data centres, client devices and asset lifecycle management, as well as re-shaped return on investment (ROI) models.”

The report said current green IT investments are being driven by compliance with environmental legislation and cost savings. In particular, it suggested ‘green IT’ that also eliminates the need for capital expenditure, such as data centre virtualisation, data centre design and layout, and asset lifecycle management, has become increasingly important as IT budgets remain constrained.

The Datamonitor research found IT budgets were likely to remain flat in 2009, which means cost-effective green IT would likely increase in demand, where green and cost-effective IT are no longer seen as mutually exclusive.

Restrained IT budgets have also had the affect of making green return-on-investment (ROI) models compulsory and shorter. “In order for green IT vendors to satisfy new ROI requirements, they are being forced to develop more efficient and greener IT solutions,” said the analyst.

Another green affect of flat IT budget growth is that organisations are looking to overcome critical data centre limitations, such as a shortage of floor or rack space, with alternative infrastructure ownership or delivery options, like IT leasing, managed services, virtualisation software, cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Like other analysts, Datamonitor said it believed data centre resources would increasingly be hosted in a cloud-computing environment, which should – at least theoretically – fall under the green IT banner.

But it added that virtualisation would the biggest winner of those green technologies making headway in the data centre.

“Data centre virtualisation is becoming more holistic, whereby various assets, including servers, storage, communications infrastructure, and business applications, are being virtualised across a pool of data centre hardware,” it said, leading it declare that business applications would be the next frontier of data centre virtualisation.