Top five predictions for Green IT in Asia-Pacific

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This article appeared in the 17 March, 2008 issue of CRN magazine.

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Top five predictions for Green IT in Asia-Pacific
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Not far from now, non-Green parts will be assigned end-of-life status and Green legislation will come to impact every single PC manufacturer, according to the IT market researcher. The worldwide market should expect to see longer lead times, parts shortages and rising prices for non-compliant parts over the next two years. Failure to transition products on time could lead to high inventories and dramatic price cuts, similar to the effect that was seen in Western Europe as the RoHS came into effect.

Manufacturers will standardise based on the most stringent legislation and anticipate Green concerns to avoid production problems, as more countries move to adopt such directives. IT vendors are also applying Green standards to their own operations for reasons such as revenue savings, regulations, fear of customer backlash, or just the desire to act like good corporate citizens. On the other hand, while Green computing is on the radar screens of CIOs, it is not primarily motivated by eco-friendliness. The primary motivation is technology’s cost. Currently, corporate buyers are most interested in Green IT products that will help save energy and money.

Every medium- to large-scale enterprise should take three steps with immediate effect.

First, they should create a strategy to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the organisation. Also, they should start to measure the consumption of energy and allocate costs accordingly to respective business managers. And third, they need to apply strong eco-friendly buying criteria to all purchase decisions from this point forward.

Finally, while end-users are becoming aware of a Green push by IT vendors, more needs to be done by everyone within the global IT community to raise consciousness of the cost and environmental benefits of adopting
Green IT.

Springboard Research’s top five predictions for Green IT until end of 2008:

1. Cost savings will drive Green IT investments – Although creating a greener planet will drive some implementations, the primary driver for Green IT adoption in Australia will be the cost savings provided by better energy efficiency. As an illustrative example of how quickly the Green IT consciousness has risen, server virtualisation in 2006 was all about cost savings and efficiency, in 2007, it changed to Green IT as the driver.

2. Regulations become more uniform and stringent – With a change of government, and APEC moving towards the Sydney Declaration on Climate Change, the move towards regulation will become even stronger. This is a start, despite the view of some influencing groups that the declaration is in relative
terms, meaningless.

3. Strong growth in virtualisation and consolidation – A majority of end-user Green IT investment will be directed toward virtualisation and consolidation efforts, which will boost revenues for these solution categories. Springboard Research estimates that in Australia, server virtualisation is accounting for 30 percent of new product acquisitions. The installed base for virtualised servers is estimated to be 15 percent of
this number.

4. Equipment take-back and disposal programs become imperative – IT equipment vendors operating in Australia will increasingly be required by law to provide equipment take- back programs for their customers as has been seen in some developing markets. As some vendors provide these services for free, the providers that do not will stand out.

5. There will be a jostle for leadership in Green IT in Australia – Australian state governments, the federal government and environmentally impacting industries will be the leading Green IT adopters within their own IT operations, and spark broader Green IT investments across other enterprises in Australia.
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