Survival of the Greenest
DESPITE THE FAILING economy, or maybe
because of it, green IT projects are holding their
own. But it’s less about the warm and fuzzy
aspects of social responsibility and more about
cold, hard cash.
“Reducing energy-related operating expenses is
the most frequently cited driver of corporate
green IT efforts,” says Christopher Mines, analyst
at Forrester Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
USA. “There are significant cost savings to be had
when you pursue good energy outcomes.”
In a Forrester survey conducted in October
2008—when the economy had started to tank—
10 percent of executives at more than 1,000
companies around the world said they planned
to step up their green IT initiatives. Given the
rollercoaster ride of economic change, nearly
half said it was too early to predict. But 38 percent intended to maintain their pace and only
five percent said they planned to slow down
The State University of New York at Buffalo
sees energy efficiency as a two-for-one deal.
The school’s Center for Computational
Research (CCR) in Buffalo, New York, USA,
launched a $450,000 project to upgrade a
quarter of its older servers with more energy-efficient models by mid-2009. The university
estimates the move will save $150,000 annually on energy costs, while boosting the center’s computing capacity by more than 50 percent.
Although projects like CCR’s show a clear
payoff, Christopher Mines at Forrester predicts most green IT initiatives this year will be
smaller scale, focusing on conservation and
optimization in existing operations.
“We are seeing a lot of small project
investments in virtual software and power
management initiatives,” he says.