Reining in IT Energy Consumption

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Reining in IT Energy Consumption

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Energy consumption in the enterprise has been a top-of-mind issue of late, but it turns out that about half of most IT organizations don’t account for energy costs when formulating their IT budgets.

In a survey of 502 C-level executives conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of the IT services firm Avanade, 53 percent said their organization did not take energy costs into account when developing their IT budgets.

The good news is that energy costs appear to be moving up the IT agenda, with one in four of the respondents saying that energy consumption related to IT is one of their top three most expensive costs on an annual basis.

Steve Fink, director of Avanade’s Infrastructure Services Line , says that while a lot of progress is being made in terms of energy consumption related to IT, far too many organizations have no visibility into these costs because the electric bill is paid by a facilities department operating under a separate budget.

Fink says that Avanade has made a practice of educating customers about these costs, which when reduced can result in enough savings to pay for next-generation servers and other modern IT infrastructure components that add massive amounts of additional processing horsepower, while actually reducing the total amount of energy consumed.

Other potential savings, said Fink, include reduced real estate costs and, in some instances, the ability to forestall having to build completely new data centers. Fink doesn’t necessarily believe that companies need to converge their IT and facilities departments to achieve these savings, but rather advocates the use of a common set of business case estimator tools across both departments to foster collaboration on cost containment between the two groups.

As a new generation of IT technologies become more widely available, it’s pretty clear that the power consumption equation that has hampered IT for the past five years or more is finally changing. And as an added kicker, we might actually also see a reduction in the overall carbon footprint attributable to IT reduced, as well.