Green computing is a lot of lip service: Survey

A survey from Vanson Bourne suggests companies are paying to lip service to the concept of green computing while not actually acting on it.

Commissioned by collaboration software company Genesys, the survey found that only a third of all companies took steps to reduce their carbon footprints, despite the growing interest in environmental issues.

The survey found that 33 per cent of respondents thought that their company was moving too slowly in adopting new green policies, about the same number (31 per cent) that thought the company was moving to bring green philosophies aboard. The respondents cited pressure from customers as the main reason for any change, with 19 per cent of them saying that the principal pressure to go green came from their customers.

Many businesses, however, believe that there’s a financial price to be paid for green adoption, 25 per cent believe that costs will increase if green policies are brought into play, not too far behind the 37 per cent who think that costs will be reduced.

The number of people who think that costs will go up was a bit of a surprising result said Johan Oberg, Genesys’s European marketing manager. “If you ask the general public about going green, the level of business travel isn’t really talked about.”

But, he added, we’ve all seen the news about the airline industry and the contribution that business flights make to emission levels and that one way to cut down on that is to cut down on travel.

What Genesys means by green computing, however, is the particularly narrow definition of users communicating over desktop-based collaborative software — which happens to be what the company sells — rather than looking at issues such as server power consumption and heat emissions.

However Oberg said that the company’s focus on reducing business travel was a part of green IT that was not talked about. He also said that businesses were changing their approach and Genesys was tapping into that cultural change.

He pointed that although videoconferencing had been around for many years, people didn’t want to go to another room. What was important for users now was to work on their own desktop machines. He also pointed out that it was important to combine different communications media such as phone, e-mail and IM within one collaboration suite – again, coincidentally what Genesys provides.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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