C-Change ’09: Green IT

By : |February 19, 2009 0

KATHMANDU, NEPAL: Green IT is a major buzzword today. Are organizations in India geared up to go green? This was the theme of the session on Green IT, presented by Prasanto Kumar Roy, President, ICT Group, CyberMedia India Ltd.

According to a survey recently conducted to see how green is India Inc. today, some interesting points have come up. 
– 43.5 percent of MNCs feel that Green IT is a reality, while 39.6 percent of Indian private limited companies feel the same. And, 52 percent of the PSUs felt it was a reality as well.

One of the questions asked was – What is Green IT? The top three responses were:
* Configure desktops to enter the sleep mode when not in use: 33.2 percent
* E-waste/computer waste recycling: 30.2 percent
* Server consolidation: 29.2 percent

Are the companies aware of green standards? The top three responses were:
* 51.5 percent of the respondents were aware of the Energy Star.
* 39.9 percent were aware of the ISO14000/ISO14001
* 32.8 percent were aware of the Climate Saver Computing Initiative

As for data center, server management, 26.3 percent had already implemented upgrading or reconfiguring the data center cooling infrastructure for improved efficiency. And, 31.4 percent had already implemented reduction of server power consumption using thin client architecture.

Indeed, green for tough times. The key points here is, green within the IT environment. Beyond the IT environment; and well, why now? According to the survey, 35 percent said that less than 5 percent of the IT budgets had been provisioned for green.

As for green buildings, and especially, regular monitoring of carbon footprint, very few have done; but many said they will start in next six months.

Why Green IT? A majority, 78 percent, said it was to reduce costs, and 54 percent felt that it is related to environmental issues. About 29 percent each also said it was for compliance and corporate image building.

Is Green IT among your top 3 opex costs?
* Capex cost — hitting the backup envelope.
This is a significant issue for those in areas with high power outages. Telcos have towers all over the place. You could also hit the backup envelope if you are having a new setup.
* Remote area operation
* Is energy 3 percent of your turnover?
– Is it 5 percent of net margins? Or, 10 percent of opex?




Look at your total energy bill, including electricity and back-up. For most sectors today, one percent of top line can be interesting.
Capex example: Expansion or consolidation; for example, 400 seats going to 550 seats.
* Are you in a power cut zone?
* Can your power backup handle it?

Why have the backup envelope?
In the day time, the backup envelope is for supporting the complete operation of your organization. Everything has to be backed up during the day. What about the night? You may be spending more on backup on infrastructure that is not used! Some of the things we’ve seen people do and explore include:
* Natural light/minor rewiring
* Replacement policy: lights etc.
* LCDs, laptops; these may not directly apply, if you have a Capex freeze
* Cooling/insulation
* Server/app consolidation, virtualization? A lot of people have been looking at this area. We are exploring at Cybermedia how we can consolidate so
essential services are on maybe, 1-2 servers. Server consolidation may require a different, focused approach.

Standby power use? This can be pretty huge. If you are using standard phones, the power is 1-2W, If IP phones, the standby power is 8-10W. There are some vendors who give some energy efficient IP phones.

Is there someone in your organization charged with looking after your energy bill?
Most CIOs from the manufacturing segment indicated that yes, there is someone looking into this. However, so far, we have not come across CIOs who are in charge of the energy bill.
This role requires the person access to lot of information; knowledge about green building standards; and measurements for green energy are also required.

A CIO has to do correct, detailed assessment of the current process within the company. This is an area you can take up without treading on toes. This is something a CIO can actually take up, and look at as a role beyond the relevant domain of IT. They can look at the major leakage areas.

Green is good for business –
* Savings in capex and opex; small to big; short to long term.
* Corporate image; you may got support from the CEO if you have an overall picture.
* CIO opportunity; they can go to IT and beyond.

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