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INTERVIEW: Ben McCullom, ‘How IT Managers Can Reduce Carbon Emissions and Energy Costs”

Few companies have an accurate view of IT Assets – so what hope is there for reducing the carbon footprint and energy consumption within IT – a large consumer of business energy?

I spoke with Ben McCullom from ITAM Software vendor InControl about the steps his firm has taken to harness IT Asset Management data to lower carbon emissions.

ITAM Review: Can you introduce us to InControl?

Ben McCullom: InControl was set up by myself and my business partner Gary Paquette back in 2002. We had recently left Peregrine after their financial difficulties and wanted to build an IT Asset Management system based on our experience in the market. We started out by asking our existing contacts in the industry what their pain points were – it soon became apparent that companies were getting tired of installing endless different agents on systems and were looking for a dynamic solution for change, asset and infrastructure management.

We built Master Control and now have around 1,000 customers; we partner with IBM Global Services and are a partner of KPN/Getronics. MasterControl can be deployed with or without an agent, is web based an entirely portable – which means it can be configured to sit inside other management systems such as a service desk.

ITAM Review: What led you to develop EnergyControl?

Our customers are under increasing pressure to reduce their energy consumption. They need to be accountable for their carbon emissions and reduce power costs, especially in power hungry data centres.

One computer left on 24 hours a day dumps 3,522 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere annually, and by far the biggest cost in the data centre over the coming years will be associated with energy.

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We took power consumption metrics and department of energy data and built a calculator to allow firms to quickly assess the carbon footprint of their IT assets.

ITAM Review: What can an IT Manager do with this information?

We baseline your current carbon footprint and energy usage, then highlight key areas to improve on your current state. Our reports offer guidelines and advice to reduce carbon emissions with a use of both technology and best practices.

“Our customers have not only reduced their carbon footprint but also won energy rebates.”

InControl can also provide valuable information about system configuration, in which idle system can be set to turn-off or suspend until the user returns and requires access to the system/workstation. Hard drives can be automatically turned off when the system does not require access and Energy Star monitors can be set to automatically go into power saving mode.

ITAM Review: What quick tips can you offer for IT Managers looking to reduce energy consumption?

Quick wins within your environment might include identifying machines that are powered on but not in use, replacing existing equipment with energy efficient replacements during refreshes and thinking of ways of automatically powering down machines not in use. InControl can also scan your network and provide other insights – for example CRT monitors use 4 times the amount of power for the same LCD screen size and laptops typically use 60% less power than desktops.

You can request a copy of the InControl IT Green Calculator here, or find the main InControl website here.

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If you would like to share your energy saving tips or innovative techology to reduce carbon emissions please contact us.

Photo Credit – Green Park Wind Turbine, Reading, UK

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About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource and community for worldwide ITAM professionals.

Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.

On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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