Companies are waking up to the fact that powering down systems after hours can reap significant cost and energy savings
One of the more frustrating aspects of launching a new technology project at an organization, such as a new document management system or upgraded CRM software, is that the return on investment can be downright difficult to measure in clear, obvious monetary figures.
Therein lies the advantage of certain green projects: Beyond the environmental benefits, the ROI can be so immediate and evident, your CFO might just slap his or her forehead for not doing it sooner.
PC and monitor power management falls under that easy-to-measure, cost-saving, carbon-reducing, CFO-self-masochism-inducing category. The bottom line is, lots of organizations leave their PCs and monitors humming nights and weekends when no one is around to use them. Powering down those systems can result in as much as $45 in energy savings per PC and $30 per monitor, per year, according to Energy Star.
Just chew on that for a moment. That's $75 a year, times the number of PCs and monitors at your organization. Or you can take the more conservative figure of $25. Whatever the case, a company with 5,000 systems is looking at adding around $125,000 to the happy side of the accounting ledger at the end of the year, and for very minimal effort on IT's part.
Environmentally speaking, a machine left on all the time results in an extra half-ton of CO2 emissions per year, according to California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Thus, the ecobenefits are evident as well.
Ripe for the plucking
"What we're solving here is really low-hanging fruit with results that are significantly larger than all the datacenter work that's going on out there," says Sumir Karayi, the CEO at 1E, which is among a host of vendors offering tools aimed at helping network admins get a handle on desktop waste. "The simple reasons for that is just numbers: the number of PCs there are compared to servers. It's at least a 10-to-1 ratio in the corporate space. If you start switching off a percentage of them, even just 30 percent, then the sort of savings you'll see are massive."