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Cost is the single biggest factor hampering companies that want to adopt a 'green' IT structure, according to new research.

The study reveals that 82 per cent of the IT managers surveyed considered the environmental impact of their IT infrastructure and hardware as either "extremely" or "very" important.The survey of 100 IT managers attending the Citrix iForum conference in June was carried out by Neoware, a US thin-client provider.

Some 71 per cent of respondents said they would choose an IT system or product specifically because it is more environmentally friendly or energy-efficient. But the results also show that a range of factors stand in the way of these intentions being put into practice.

Survey respondents named cost as the key preventative factor (24 per cent) when it comes to going green, followed by "difficulties in replacing existing technology" (18 per cent) and "lack of green products available" (17 per cent). Other barriers cited included "lack of understanding" (15 per cent), no "green champion" within the IT department (10 per cent), "lack of management buy-in" (10 per cent), and "not formalised into company's CSR (corporate social responsibility)/green initiatives" (4 per cent).

"One of the main messages to businesses is that becoming green has a price tag associated to it," said Neoware's sales manager for Northern Europe, Andrew Gee. "Undeniably, any change to a company's IT infrastructure will involve some cost, but when becoming green, businesses need to look at the longer-term savings beyond the initial investment."

Other notable figures from the survey include the fact that 98 per cent of respondents think that the IT industry has a responsibility to become more environmentally friendly, 71 per cent felt that being more green is high on their company's list of priorities, and 60 per cent of respondents do or would evaluate suppliers based on their environmental approach.

An iReach survey of Irish companies published in March 2007 told a similar story of a willingness to go green, tempered by concern over the associated costs.

© 2007 ENN

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