Organisations are not always aware of how much of their electricity bill goes on data storage. This is because the amount of money they are spending on the electricity for IT systems is often hidden inside the bigger electricity bill. Many businesses have already been confronted with the heavy operational costs associated with increased data storage. So unless you keep track of the problem, your business may be pouring money down the drain without you even realising it. If you care at all about growth, this is a form of waste you cannot afford. Moreover, a sudden rise in electricity prices may even push your company into making disruptive, short-term cuts.
Heavy use of electricity also has a negative impact on the environment. Generating electricity usually requires the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In today's business climate, environmental irresponsibility results in bad publicity, and leads to awkward questions from both customers and investors. Getting to grips with energy consumption is one way for you to protect your company's reputation.
What gets measured gets done
This book's message has nothing to do with greenwash. It is intended for people who are looking for hard, practical advice on how to fix a problem. Green IT needs to establish baseline data so that progress can be effectively tracked, and metrics are essential for that. Taking Green IT seriously also means coming up with a plan and making sure it gets delivered. So it is vital to treat Green IT as a process. You need to make the CIO responsible for the energy consumption of the data centre, and allow him to do what it takes to drive costs down. To retain momentum, your Green IT strategy also needs the support of top management. Meanwhile, lower down the hierarchy, employees need to know that Green IT is not just a fad, but something your company is treating as a real priority.
Benefits to business include:
•Manage power demand
Once servers start to become overloaded with work, more servers have to be installed, meaning increased consumption of electricity. However, by finding a way to change working patterns so that you run more batch jobs in off-peak hours, you can reduce both power and investment costs.
•Decommission useless equipment
Up to 30 per cent of the servers in a data centre may be abandoned, and yet they will still be consuming electricity. Once you have identified the equipment that has fallen into disuse, you can get rid of it and start saving electricity.
Government agencies and utility companies are now committed to helping businesses lower their energy consumption. Your electricity provider may offer you support here, while many governments also offer tax incentives towards adopting Green IT
•Accentuate the positive
The digital world makes for greater efficiency, and a Green IT initiative can treat IT as an opportunity for saving energy. You can cap the travel expenses of employees by encouraging them to use video conferencing. By preventing unnecessary use of ink and printer paper, you can cut the costs of office supplie
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About the Author
George Spafford is a Principal Consultant with Pepperweed Consulting, LLC, and an experienced practitioner in business and IT operations. He gives advice and provides training in relation to regulatory compliance, IT Governance and process improvement. He holds an MBA from Notre Dame University and is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).