Experts predict that by 2012, 40 percent of an enterprise's technology budget will be consumed by energy costs. Office temperatures have to be set at cool levels to keep a server running, and the cost to power and cool onsite computer systems can drain a business owner’s budget. Gartner Research estimates that the electrical bill alone per server can cost $3,700 over four years.
Additionally, powering, cooling and operating PCs and servers are responsible for almost 1 billions tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
For many businesses, going green can be as simple as making better use of the resource they have. Making IT green is not necessarily about reducing how many kilowatts a PC consumes; it's the amount of them in the office. The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance said the average energy consumption could be reduced by 25 percent through effective use of power management tools.
Companies can take green initiatives a step further and establish a green computing agenda through utility computing, provided by several Houston IT outsourcing providers. Much like other “utility” models, including energy and water utilities, client companies transfer the onus and risk of in-house IT, including the purchase and maintenance of servers and other costly IT equipment. Adopting real-time computing alternatives enables companies to deploy technology resources on-demand and reduce the need for capital IT investments and underutilized technology.
Consolidating all data and applications into a secure, centralized datacenter reduces energy emissions, and helps cut back on an office’s electric bills – making for a more predictable IT budget.
Telework or telecommuting is another green incentive. It not only helps the environment, it also saves employees and their organizations time and money. Government agencies have already created incentives for businesses to become greener with programs like The City of Houston’s Flex and the City Program, which encourage a more flexible work schedule through reducing driving during peak traffic times. Companies that work with providers offering remote IT support in Houston, also help cut down on traffic congestion created by onsite consultants on the road.
Gartner Research predicts that by 2011 enterprises will develop required policies for IT suppliers to prove their "green credentials" through an auditing process. Until that day comes, businesses should evaluate a green agenda to beat rising energy costs.
This article appeared on page 15B of the FOCUS: GREEN HOUSTON section of Volume 39, No. 2 of the Houston Business Journal on May 23—29, 2006
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