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The Biggest Barriers to Going Green

Although 80 percent of IT decision makers in government and corporate organizations believe that implementing green IT solutions is important, only 46 percent said their organizations were doing so, according to a recent survey by CDW. Out of those IT decision makers who have made the leap from believing it's important to doing something about it:

  • Half say that up to 25% of their IT operations are green
  • Slightly more than a quarter say 26% to 50% of their IT operations are green
  • Slightly less than a quarter say more than 50% of their IT operations are green

"Even though IT decision makers clearly recognize the importance of green IT solutions such as virtualization and server consolidation, there are always going to be growing pains involved with making a significant change to an organization," said Mark Gambill, CDW vice president. "If going green means replacing servers that are already delivering reliable IT to an organization, then widespread adoption may take some time."


More than a thousand IT decision makers from corporate and government organizations of all sizes were polled about green IT in the CDW survey. For purposes of the survey, green IT was defined as "using natural resources efficiently and minimizing environmental impact through the entire IT product lifecycle." Examples of green IT initiatives include IT purchasing practices that favor environmental protection, efficient IT energy use, and safe recycling of electronic equipment.


According to the CDW survey, the biggest barrier to implementing green initiatives is cost, which is the same result found in another survey of IT decision makers about green IT practices (see "IT Decision Makers Reveal Their Views on Going Green"). In the CDW survey, the IT decision makers were asked to identify the biggest barriers to going green. (They could select more than one barrier.) The findings reveal that:

  • 51% perceive the costs of implementing and maintaining green IT as a big barrier
  • 25% perceive the complexity of implementing and maintaining green IT as a big barrier
  • 23% perceive the lack of appropriate expertise within the organization as a big barrier
  • 22% perceive the disruption to current IT systems and the resulting negative impact on productivity as a big barrier
  • 21% perceive the lack of IT initiatives that truly have a positive environmental impact as a big barrier
  • 14% perceive management's lack of support or its resistance as a big barrier
  • 12% perceive the employees' lack of support or their resistance as a big barrier

Notably, 12 percent said there were no barriers.


You can find more survey results on the CDW IT Monitor website.


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