Monday, 16 March 2009

Green IT Investment

According to an article in Reuters last week, U.S. companies are increasingly investing in technologies such as virtualisation to cut data centre costs, but are also more closely scrutinising the costs and payback as they try to make the most of shrinking budgets. There has to be a clear ROI in any data centre investment.

The article says that most CIOs are only buying what they absolutely need for the next few months, but some are buying new equipment in the hope that it will help them lower other costs. With 75% of IT spending going to maintenance, it means that companies can invest more on some equipment but still manage to control or cut overall spending.

Not surprisingly there is a lot of vendor focus on the data centre market, since it offers the opportunity of long-term savings for clients - Cisco is apparently due to announce a new data centre strategy this week. The article cites an IBM comment that rationalisation can typically help companies cut energy usage by around 40 to 50%.

Given the amount of talk about data centre efficiency in the last year or two, it's no surprise that it should continue to be a focus in the current economic climate. This is mostly good news from a green perspective, unless machines are simply being swapped out for more energy efficient replacements. Much (sometimes most) of the carbon emissions associated with IT equipment is in the manufacture, so whilst replacements may reduce energy consumption they can add to overall carbon emissions.

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