Fujitsu has released the results of a multi-country benchmarking exercise to assess the maturity of Green IT practices and
technologies in end user organisations. It’s based on a survey of over 630 CIOs and senior IT managers of large IT-using organisations in the US, UK, Australia and India.
The methodology, developed by Australian sustainability consultancy Connection Research and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), looks at the maturity of organisations across four main pillars of Green IT; equipment lifecycle, end-user computing, enterprise computing and IT as a green enabler. The methodology allows the implementation of Green IT to be quantified and compared between countries and industry sectors.
The full report is here, but the research found that the overall Green IT maturity level is low – the index for all respondents is just 56.4 (out of 100). The best performing country of the four surveyed is the UK, with an overall Green IT Readiness Index of 61.0, followed by the US with a score of 58.6, Australia (53.9), let down by its low level of measurement, and India (52.0), where end user Green IT is not widely implemented.
The two operational components of Green IT
that were found to be most mature were End User Computing, which includes the use of PCs, laptops and printers, and Enterprise Computing, primarily servers. Perhaps it’s no real surprise, given that these are the two most visible aspects of IT, the focus of a lot of the Green IT technologies and practices and where Green IT often goes hand-in-hand with short-term cost savings.
Nor is it any great surprise (although some disappointment) that Enablement, i.e. using IT to reduce the carbon footprint elsewhere in the organisation, is scored much lower. As the report points out, it reflects the continued inward focus of many Green IT initiatives.
What is more of a surprise is the fact that Metrics, i.e. the process of measuring and monitoring green initiatives in the organisation, is the least mature aspect. You would think (and hope) that monitoring the success would be an essential part of any green activity in a company, but it seems to remain a low priority.
The best performing industry sectors are IT/Communications/Media, followed by Professional Services and Utilities/Construction. But the report notes that the differences between industry sectors are similar across the countries surveyed, indicating that Green IT performance is at least as much a function of industry sector as it is of country.
Having had a very small part in this research, it’s interesting to see the overall results. It’s not always comfortable reading because it highlights how much more there is that Green IT could and should be doing, but the detail does give a good impression of where we are now. It would be interesting to see how these scores change in the coming years. For example, I would expect to see the metrics aspect start to catch up quite quickly in the next year or two.