Green IT gains an upside in the economic downturn

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Although the global recession has squeezed IT budgets, hindered capital expenditure and slowed IT development, Datamonitor says there is a significant upside for so-called green IT.

In its latest report, 'Can Green IT Bloom in an Economic Downturn', the analyst finds green IT investments are driven by compliance with environmental legislation and cost savings. "The global economic recession has spurred a paradigm shift in the way organisations evaluate, budget for and deploy green IT," explains Rhonda Ascierto, senior analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report. "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 models," she adds. Ascierto points in particular to green IT that eliminates the need for capital expenditure, such as data centre virtualisation, data centre design and layout, and asset lifecycle management – all of which, she says, have become increasingly important as IT budgets remain constrained. Datamonitor research shows IT budgets are likely to remain flat in 2009, making cost-effective green IT likely to increase in demand. As such, says the report, companies no longer regard green IT and cost-effective IT as being mutually exclusive. Datamonitor also believes that data centre resources will increasingly be hosted in a cloud computing environment, which should – at least theoretically – fall under the green IT banner. However, the greatest demand for green IT will be for data centre virtualisation, which, says the company, is becoming more holistic – meaning that assets, including servers, storage, communications infrastructure, and business applications, are all being virtualised across a pool of data centre hardware.