More than 70 percent of respondents to GreenFactor, a global “green” enterprise IT study said they “probably” or “definitely” would increase their preference for a brand’s “green” products if they were convinced of the positive impact on the environment and business. Almost 60 percent said they would expect to pay a premium for “green” products.
Conducted in the first quarter of 2008, GreenFactor, by Strategic Oxygen, GCI Group and Cohn & Wolfe, surveyed more than 3,500 enterprise IT decision makers – including CXOs, CIOs, IT Managers and Line of Business Managers – in 11
CMOs of enterprise IT brands should take note of four major findings in the study:
- No single enterprise IT brand is perceived as a clear “green” leader globally. In fact, there is no statistical difference between the top seven leaders (see chart above).
- The importance of “green” IT to IT buyers varies country by country. India’s respondents, for instance, emerged highest as both expecting to pay at least a five percent premium on “green” IT and as having a preference for it if they can be convinced of positive impact on both the environment and their budgets. At the same time, nearly one quarter (24%) of respondents in Germany believe buying “green” products has no real impact on the environment, generally twice that of any other country. Findings like this imply that universal, global “green” messaging is ineffective.
- There are disconnects within organizations themselves on the importance of “green.” For instance, CXOs globally chose “price” as a barrier to “green” with lower frequency than all other titles surveyed, and CIOs state they “definitely will” look to purchase some “green”products this next year at a higher rate than other respondents. This suggests that IT brands should target C-level executives in order to convince them to direct and empower their teams to include “green” IT into specifications.
- Not surprisingly, “perceived economics” is the biggest barrier to “green” adoption. In nine of 11 countries polled, price was the top barrier. Marketers must focus on better communicating total cost of ownership and overall value to potential buyers.
When the data is cut to view respondents that satisfy both conditions — expect to pay at least a five percent premium on “green” IT and “definitely would” increase their preference for it with proven ROI – India is the leader in “green” IT potential by a wide margin:
- India (22.3%)
- U.S. (14.9%)
- Mexico (13.9%)
- UK (12.9%)
- France (12.3%)
- Australia (11.9%)
- Brazil (8.4%)
- Canada (8%)
- Germany (7.9%)
- Japan (6.4%)
- Italy (4.8%)
The survey also sought specific information on how much more or less respondents would expect to pay for “green” technology, including desktops, laptops, servers, storage or networking hardware.
Nearly two-thirds of all respondents in Mexico (63%) and more than half of respondents in Italy (58%) and Brazil (57%) expect to pay the “same” or “less” for “green” IT. On the other hand, about two-thirds of all respondents in Japan (71%), the US (66%) and India (66%) expect to pay some level of premium.
When asked “What are the biggest barriers to adopting a ‘green’ approach when purchasing technology-related hardware for your organization?” IT decision-makers and IT influencers were allowed to choose what they perceived as the top two barriers. Here’s how the barriers ranked globally:
- Price (38%)
- Disagreement internally/political (25%)
- Efficiency will not offset costs (22%)
- Brands not convincing us of ROI (18%)
- Brands not promoting importance of “green” products (18%)
- “Green” products not available (16%)
- No impact on environment (12%)
When faced with these products over the next year and asked “Will your organization look to purchase products that are considered ‘green’?” respondents said they probably or definitely would look for “green” versions of these products:
- Laptops (74%)
- Desktops (72%)
- Servers (64%)
- Storage (63%)
- Network Hardware (63%)