Green Computing: Hype Cycle or Actual Trend?

Green strategies have been so touted and discussed in the last 18 months, that it’s beginning to seem like all hardware will soon be dipped in that color just to be more appealing. But despite all the boasts of how technology is being refreshed for better energy efficiency and less waste, are data centers really getting in the green groove?

According to a recent report, the answer seems to be: not quite yet.

The Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum noted in an April report that most IT professionals polled cite environmentally responsible operations as a priority, but still lack the resources to control their energy consumption.

According to the study, three-quarters of respondents—IT professionals who represented 150 companies—gave their organizations a grade of C or worse in ability to control IT energy consumption. Almost two-thirds have no specific green plans in place, even for the long term, and nearly 20 percent spend more than $1 million per year on IT energy, with 8 percent spending more than $10 million.

For many, the crunch seems to be on, with about half of those polled noting that IT-related energy consumption had increased in their organization last year, and 46 percent reporting that they’ve run out of space, power or cooling capacity.

“The findings weren’t a complete surprise,” says Derek Kober, director of the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum. “But it was surprising how much concern, intent and priority were expressed about reducing consumption, compared with how much action is being taken. There’s a big gap between the two.”

One of the major reasons that data centers seem to be lagging when it comes to green strategies is that there are no policies being put in place, notes Kober. “For many, there’s nothing to guide the process, and they feel they’re too busy to formalize a program,” he says. “Also, they feel it will be too costly, without realizing that small, affordable changes can make a big difference.”