The ITAM Review

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How To Build The Business Case for Green IT

Switching PCs off at nightThis article has been contributed by Tony Fisher of Greenocity.

Regardless of market sector all businesses should look at ways to save money.  The present ‘age of austerity’ means that it is more important than ever to find how money is being wasted or misspent but why don’t businesses pay more attention to the computing environment as it may well be one of the most wasteful environments yet one which offers an easy way of making saving.

One of the reasons is that IT are not targeted on being cost efficient and another it that they are not responsible for the amount of power they use and associated cost.  The traditional disconnect between the departments that are responsible for running up costs and those responsible for settling the bill means that there is a lack of common understanding and complete lack of ownership of the problem.

It is true that the UK Governments Carbon Reduction Energy Efficiency Scheme may assist the top 5000 (or so) users of electricity in the UK but what about the rest?

Picture the scene: it’s the end of the working day at a business and its employees are keen to enjoy their social lives. So do they take the time to shut down their PCs correctly? Well, according to independent research 36% do not and in our experience we think this figure is low. So, during the non working hours the PC sits there running its screen saver, spinning its disk and cooling the processor and as a result racking up a bill of around £50 per annum.

£50 is being wasted. No excuses and no doubt. So multiply this figure by the number of PCs that constitute 36% of the estate and you can end up with a pretty high and unpleasant figure that represents pure waste!

Now take into consideration other key IT related areas and it becomes pretty clear the amount of potential for wasted money that can come from the infrastructure. Datacentres or server rooms can haemorrhage cash by being kept way too cool, poorly designed or simply having too many devices for the square footage available. On top of this printing can be a major and unjustifiable cash sponge. Have a look round the average office and what do you see near the printer? An over flowing bin, documents that have been printed but never collected and a stockpile of paper and ink to refuel it when its unnecessarily run out of supplies.

Tony Fisher, Greenocity

Tony Fisher, Greenocity

Printers can also be shut off in non productive hours and like PCs and certain servers they can also be turned on again in time for the workforce to have them available at the start of their working day so the ‘my PC takes so long to boot’ argument can be dismissed instantly.

With so many opportunities to use technology to make technology more efficient the computing environment in most companies provides a real opportunity to save money, become more efficient, deliver what the users need AND reduce the carbon footprint all at the same time.

Organizations interested in these cost cutting initiatives should begin my estimating how many PC’s are left on overnight and from this figure work out how much money is being wasted and the associated carbon impact. An online ROI calculator can be found here.

As a starting point organizations should also make sure their desktop replacement strategy includes only buying the most efficient devices and replacing older CRT monitors with LCDs.

This article has been contributed by Tony Fisher of Greenocity.

Greenocity was founded by Tony Fisher and Stuart Riches to help organisations become more efficient with their computing resources, save money and reduce their carbon footprint.  Regardless of business type or market sector all organisations should take every opportunity to make real measureable savings and the tools and techniques provided by Greenocity ensure that this happens.

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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 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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