Green IT: Fatigue setting in already?

Summary:You couldn't go more than an hour at the Gartner conference without hearing about green IT and its impact on technology managers. But there is some evidence that we may be hitting the saturation point with the green IT mantra.

You couldn't go more than an hour at the Gartner conference without hearing about green IT and its impact on technology managers. But there is some evidence that we may be hitting the saturation point with the green IT mantra.

Don't get me wrong? Electric bills are a big issue. The environment matters. And green IT is front and center for most vendors. But anecdotally the rank and file is saying "enough already" as the Gartner types hammer home their green points.

None of these folks will go on record--who wants to look like a tree-killer? But there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that a mini-backlash is brewing.

A few points raised by a few random technology managers in various conversations.

Green IT is a great way to sell you stuff--lots of stuff. One executive noted that green technology is sounding more like marketing spiel everyday. Technology vendors want to look like a green front runner so they can sell you more gear. Of course, consultants--like Gartner possibly--want to help you figure out your green strategy. Add it up and whatever you save in power may be spent on consultants. Software is the real fix. The technology vendors that should be doing the most talking are software vendors. You want to save power? Shut down your PCs when you go home. Throttle back the number of running servers at night. Virtualization and automated server management will do more than any smaller, more efficient box.

Enough with the guilt trip. Gartner analysts regularly noted that social responsibility will become a bigger issue for companies. In fact, that social responsibility, which is the norm in Europe, will impact technology decisions in the U.S. All of that's true. Just don't expect a bunch of American technology managers to really give a hoot. One technology manager noted that an ROI case for green IT would have more legs than presentations about how the green movement is changing technology. In other words, take the green, add in some greenbacks and stir well. Show these folks the money, savings and the bonuses from delivering a green project and they'll be a lot less skeptical.

Topics: CXO, IT Priorities

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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