Though nearly half (42%) of IT departments have no plans to launch projects in the next 12 months to reduce energy consumption or carbon emissions – according to a 2008 ComputerWorld survey – plenty of CEOs and CIOs do agree that IT will play a very important role in their efforts to reduce environmental impact.
Still, many see green as an unnecessary increase in expenses, and many are reluctant to “fix” something that’s not broken – that is, mess with IT processes that work and re-engineering them to make them more efficient, ComputerWorld writes.
But rising energy costs are a big motivating factor for them to rework at least a little, according to IDC’s “U.S. Green IT Survey.” And many initiatives to reduce energy consumption will have near-immediate paybacks, within 18 months, said Gartner analyst Rakesh Kumar.
Among the quick ROI projects that will save money:
- Power management, such as making sure that employee’s desktops “sleep” at night and during other times of inactivity. Management features on desktop PCs can save $50 per computer per year, and enabling power management tools on monitors can save another $12 to $90 annually per monitor Other devices that draw power (e.g., fax machines, printers, copiers) can also be identified and turned off when not in use.
- Set new procurement policies that specify that all new equipment must be Energy Star-compliant.
- Enable more telecommuting and teleconferencing.
- Consolidate data centers and control the temperature in those in operation. Scottrade recently identified air flow issues in its Arizona data center and was able to safely reduce air conditioning levels by making a few minor design changes.