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Are Sustainable IT Services a Priority? CIO, CEO and IT Professional Viewpoints Vary

May 30, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Is the shift to sustainable IT services a priority? That depends on which audience you ask. While CEOs and CIOs increasingly focus on sustainability, IT professionals for the most part appear to be focused elsewhere.

Among the data points to consider:

  • Only 16.7% of IT professionals worldwide consider sustainability a top issue.
  • And only 38.7% considered it a priority at all.
  • Within the United States, less than one-third of IT pros consider sustainable IT infrastructure a priority.

Those findings surfaced in a global survey of 2,969 IT professionals conducted by The Register.

Dig a little deeper, and there are signs of progress -- especially in terms of sustainable IT services and spending decisions. For instance, The Register survey results revealed:

  • Roughly 57% of IT pros say their organizations are seeking to work with IT vendors that actively reduce their environmental impact through such steps as renewable energy and green data centers.
  • And one-third of IT pros say their organizations now require IT vendors to offer transparent reporting on sustainability performance.

IT Professionals, CIOs and CEOs: A Sustainability Disconnect?

Although IT professionals often fail to prioritize sustainability, they may soon face pressure from CEOs and CIOs to roll out green IT services. Among the anecdotal proof points:

  • Environmental sustainability is now a Top 10 business priority for CEOs, according to Gartner.
  • Roughly 50% of organizations will leverage sustainability monitoring technology to manage hybrid cloud energy consumption by 2026, Gartner predicts.
  • By 2025, 50% of CIOs will have specific performance metrics tied to energy consumption, according to Gartner.
  • By 2026, 75% of organizations will increase their business engagement with IT vendors that have clear sustainability goals. Those same CIOs will seek to replace vendors that don't have sustainability goals, according to Gartner.
  • By 2027, 75% of organizations will have implemented a data center infrastructure sustainability program, up from less than 5% in 2022, Gartner predicted.

Amid that backdrop, roughly 50% of partners worldwide said that they expect to generate revenue from sustainability solutions in 2024 – up three percentage points from 47% in 2023, according to research firm Canalys.

Sustainable IT Services Playbook for MSPs, IT Departments

How can IT departments and MSPs align their technology initiatives with overall sustainability strategies? Some clues and guidance emerged in this Green IT Playbook -- developed by Rackspace Technology and Smart Columbus, in partnership with the Green IT Working Group.

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