Half of companies don’t care about data center efficiency

Green IT has been in the news a lot lately. But are stories about how big companies cut their data center power and cooling costs actually making other firms give up on doing so themselves? 

Organizations care less about cutting costs in the data center compared to years past, according to a recent survey from the Uptime Institute.

Just 50% of the 1,000 IT pros surveyed said improving data center efficiency was important for their companies. That was down from 52% last year and 58% in 2011.

Much of the declining interest comes from organizations with smaller data centers — and limited financial and staffing resources. In contrast, 90% of firms with more than 5,000 servers said cutting power and cooling costs was a priority.

According to the Uptime Institute, smaller firms are becoming frustrated by their inability to keep up with larger enterprises when it comes to data center efficiency.

Much of the reporting on the issue is about what huge tech firms like Google and Facebook are doing to lower their costs. Most other businesses don’t have room in the budget to make similar investments or enough engineers on staff to try those innovative techniques.

Still money to be saved

Even if smaller businesses don’t see the kind of payoff large enterprises get when they build new state-of-the-art data centers, they can still save a significant amount by taking some basic steps to improve power and cooling efficiency.

One critical improvement most organizations could make: Get leadership more involved in efforts to go green.

In the Uptime Institute’s survey, 40% of data center employees said they have no requirements to report on power usage and costs to upper management. And among the rest, 23% said there is no scheduled reporting and they only offer the information when asked.

In most companies, there’s also a disconnect between who manages the data center who is charged with paying for power and cooling. For 80% of companies, the energy bill is paid by the facilities department.

Experts recommend organizations hold their IT departments accountable for how much is spent to run the data center. By communicating with the CFO and other c-level executives, IT can help come up with a plan for cutting those costs and boosting the bottom line for the whole organization.

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