Is ICT switching to green?

The drive for the IT sector to become more environment friendly is coming from a number of different sources, including government legislation, environmental pressure groups and from industry vendors who are looking to differentiate their products – but what is the real uptake of green solutions, and do they have a meaningful impact on the business?

Tags: Autodesk IncorporatedCompTIA (www.comptia.org)EnvironmentGreenInternational Data CorporationRittalSims Recycling Solutions (simsrecycling.com/)
  • E-Mail
Is ICT switching to green? Green IT strategies can include more power efficient hardware, reduction of use of harmful chemicals in production, recycling of hardware and other initiatives.
By  Keri Allan Published  December 13, 2012

In recent years the Middle East has seen a greater focus and effort to become more eco-friendly and there has been a shift in understanding issues regarding the environmental impact of IT in the region.

“Lots of companies talk about their green IT efforts today, but for many it remains a fuzzy concept with the use of the term and its interpretation varying wildly,” highlights Mark Plunkett, director Emerging Markets, Europe, Middle East for trade association CompTIA, which is now offering a green IT professional certification, which aims to help IT departments to understand and manage green initiatives.

Policies and legislations are now appearing, however the region still lags behind the US and Europe, and faces challenges of its own.

“End users from home consumers through to SMEs and enterprises are all concerned about performance as the highest priority and thinking green will often be at the bottom of the list,” says Mohamed Hefny, senior research analyst, Systems, IDC CEMA.

Philips Hughes is managing director of Sims Recycling Solutions FZE and has found that the roadblock green IT faces more often than not comes from businesses’ internal accounting: “Some initiatives have been well thought-out, but fail when they meet ‘the last price’ mentality,” he explains. “Change takes time, we see progress and advise clients to engage all stakeholders from the beginning of a project.”

International legislation is increasingly demanding sound environmental credentials for companies doing business in a global marketplace, but the main driver for green IT in the region is cost.

“Besides legal compliance issues, the economic downturn highlighted the need to economise. Regional businesses are increasingly going green to save capital and operating costs,” says Louay Dahmash, Territory sales director, Autodesk Middle East.

“The last few years saw the Middle East market going through a lean patch due to an economic slow down, which in a way gave a boost to green IT initiatives, as more companies turned their attention to reducing operational expenses (Opex). [They began] selectively choosing IT equipment based on higher efficiency criteria, as energy costs can represent up to 40% of a companies total IT budget,” says Rajesh Rajan, sales manager, IT Infrastructure Division, Rittal Middle East. “This, in a way, paved a way for manufacturers to become more responsible in their commitment on efficiency, as customers started digging into the nitty gritty of any claim on efficiency to ensure that they meet their strategic objective of reducing their Opex.

“At the moment, it mainly boils down to reduction of energy consumption of IT equipment, but the future will see companies in the Middle East leveraging IT to bring in efficiencies in other sectors to reduce carbon emissions. We all have seen how emails and video conferencing substantially reduced road transport for many, leading to lesser carbon emissions,” he notes.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code