CDW Government (CDW-G), a subsidiary of US technology services company CDW that focuses on the government, education and healthcare sector, released a report a couple of months ago showing that the efforts by US government agencies to cut IT costs are effectively a self-funding route to green IT.
The online survey was carried out by research firm O'Keeffe & Company and covered 303 state and local IT managers in late 2011. The final report, called The Efficient Agency, focused on the need for agencies to cut costs and how they were achieving the goal.
Four particular areas of IT were identified as the main route to making savings; server virtualisation, document management, storage virtualisation and cloud computing. This was the order in which the various technologies were likely to be adopted and ranged from over 90% using server virtualisation to just over half adopting cloud computing.
What’s interesting is that, according to the survey responses, the return on investment over the lifetime of these technologies was:
- server virtualisation – 140%
- document management – 139%
- storage virtualisation – 134%
- cloud computing – 269%
The report concluded that implementing these solutions could be almost self funding – the savings from server virtualisation could fund nearly all the investment for document management, storage virtualisation and cloud computing.
OK, so this is primarily about cost cutting, rather than green ICT, but the end result is the same. All these technologies achieve savings primarily through reducing power use, which means reducing emissions.
There is an interesting omission here, though. PC power management software can also save significant amounts of money/emissions, but with machines spread around the company and the IT department not necessarily responsible for power bills, it seems it’s not on the radar of these Government sector IT Managers.
There’s a lot of mileage in this self-funding message. Assuming the IT department gets all the savings benefits, its a powerful incentive for a program of efficiency improvement. It really needs to be part of a corporate sustainability program, though, so that some routes to potential savings are not overlooked.
Thanks again to greenit.fr.