Seventy-six percent of companies said they're using power-management tools to reduce electricity consumption by datacenter equipment operating at low utilization rates. I'd wager few are willing to risk powering down servers entirely when they're not in use, at least for the time being.
A little outside help
In one of the most interesting findings in the survey, 81 percent of the respondents said they were considering adopting SaaS (software as a service) and/or cloud computing services. Among those respondents, 55 percent said they were doing so as part of a strategy to reduce power consumption. This strategy certainly makes sense; having an outside service take care of certain processing or storage needs means you don't have to worry about powering the associated hardware. I'm eager to see hard data as to whether outside providers such as Salesforce.com or Amazon Web Services deliver higher performance-per-watt rates than companies would enjoy running those services in-house. (My intuition says yes.)
Also interesting: Companies are realizing the importance of monitoring energy consumption. Measuring on an ongoing basis is, after all, critical to the success of a green-tech initiative. If you don't know where you started, you have no way of knowing whether you've made any progress. Thirty-four percent of the respondents said they're "monitoring power consumption more carefully"; another 37 percent are implementing power monitoring. Twenty-two percent are talking about it.
[ Learn how to measure your green IT baseline. ]
All in all, the results of this survey should be heartening to both IT professionals and environmental enthusiasts (not that the two are mutually exclusive). The green movement sweeping businesses worldwide is poised to continue gaining momentum, driven by the need to cut costs, the requirement to comply with environmental legislation, and the desire for better environmental stewardship. Whatever the key drivers at any given organization, it's clear that IT has a critical role to play.
The Green IT Report results (PDF) are available at Symantec's Web site.