Efforts to improve the sustainability of information and communication technology (ICT) have stalled in organizations, and opportunities to cut costs and make more efficient use of resources are not being maximized, according to a study by Fujitsu.
“ICT Sustainability: The Global Benchmark 2012 Report,” which summarizes responses from 1,200 CIOs and senior managers from eight countries, found efforts to improve ICT sustainability in organizations have reached a plateau. The global ICT Sustainability Index, or ITSx, declined slighting in 2012, falling to 53.1 from 54.3 in 2011 and a high of 56.4 in 2010.
ITSx declines were evident in all types of organizations. However, organizations with more than 1,000 employees experienced smaller falls. In 2012, organizations with more than 5,000 workers recorded an average ITSx of 61.6, compared with an average of 48.8 for institutions with fewer than 500 people.
The research results indicate that organizations have experimented with initiatives, but trials failed to mature, possibly due to competing priorities or inferior management practices, Fujitsu said. The research shows declines in power management settings of personal computers, in-house investment in data centers and adherence to standards and policy.
The US is the strongest performing country in 2012, with an ITSx of 57.3. The US financial services industry has led the way with an ITSx of 66.8, the highest of any sector in any country.
The largest increase in an ITSx in any industry globally was in China’s utilities, construction and mining industry, which rose by 25.3 to reach 62.2 in 2012.
More organizations could be actively tracking the energy use associated with their ICT resources, said Alison Rowe, global executive director of sustainability at Fujitsu.
ICT is responsible for three percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, Fujitsu said. At current rates of growth in ICT usage, this is forecast to grow to 6 percent by 2020. And ICT is responsible for five to 10 percent of the typical economy’s total electricity consumption. In some organizations, such as banks, government and in many other administrative industries, ICT can account for up to 75 per cent of all energy consumption, said Fujitsu.
On the positive side, 23 percent of respondents accounted for ICT energy costs and consumption in 2012, compared with 14.2 percent in 2011.