Most Benelux businesses lack a sustainable IT strategy

sustainable IT strategy

Only 37% of businesses in the Benelux region have a sustainable IT strategy, according to recent research by Paessler AG. The survey of 1,051 IT managers across a hundred countries also revealed that 60% of IT managers regard environmental awareness among vendors of monitoring software as important. Cloud adoption appears to be the IT sector’s biggest challenge.

Adopting a sustainable IT strategy can help to save on energy, water and hardware, for example. Europe leads the way in this context, with 42% of European companies having sustainable IT strategies compared to just 26% in the Americas. Moreover, 52% of respondents from the Americas do not intend to prioritize a sustainable IT strategy in the coming years. On the upside, the number of organizations working on sustainable IT strategies worldwide increased from 33% to 37% this year according to Paessler, which is known for its monitoring software Paessler PRTG.

Cloud adoption is the biggest challenge

The biggest challenge for the IT sector in the Benelux region is cloud adoption (41%), with 72% of IT infrastructure not yet having been transferred to the cloud. Encouragingly, 61% of companies expect to increase their commitment to cloud adoption within the next two years. The sector’s other main challenges besides cloud adoption are implementation of operational technology infrastructures (31%), automation and robotization processes (31%), having a robust infrastructure (29%) and data storage (25%). Surprisingly, artificial intelligence (AI) does not yet rank as a top-five challenge for IT managers in the Benelux.

Fear of hackers

Although IT managers are very concerned about cloud adoption, actual implementation is still low. The survey found that only 28% of IT infrastructure in the Benelux and 19% of global IT infrastructure is currently stored in the cloud. From a sustainability perspective, cloud-based data storage reduces the on-premise carbon footprint, partly because local servers require more hardware and cooling systems and therefore consume more energy.

The extent to which the cloud is used varies worldwide by industry. For example, 92% of organizations in the global public sector still choose to store data locally, despite cloud environments for such organizations meeting strict compliance and security requirements. As the main reason, the organizations indicate they feel that local storage is the safest way to protect data from hackers.

Cloud adoption is highest in the telecommunications, technology, internet and electronics industry (24%). This is followed by financial services (23%), education (21%), and healthcare/pharmaceuticals and manufacturing (both 17%). In the public sector, as mentioned above, the percentage is just 8%.

A sustainability strategy can be more cost-effective

“IT infrastructures are complex and it takes time to modernize them. Although IT managers are primarily focused on business continuity, it’s important not to overlook processes that enable a more sustainable infrastructure. A carefully considered sustainability strategy is not only futureproof, but can also be more cost-effective in the long run. Making greater use of the cloud can be part of that strategy,” says Wilco Ravestein, Country Manager Benelux at Paessler.