Energy efficiency is top datacentre priority for IT, shows study

More than half of IT decision-makers have cited power efficiency as their number one priority in the datacentre for the next three to five years

More than half of IT decision-makers have cited power efficiency as their number one priority in the datacentre for the next three to five years, according to a study of 250 IT executives.

The research by Computacenter revealed that efficiency measures in the datacentre have more than doubled in importance over the last five years.

More than two-thirds of the respondents (71%) said that IT efficiency within their datacentre is "very important". This compared with just 34% who rated efficiency as a top priority five years ago, indicating a significant change in how companies perceive IT priorities today, according to the IT services provider.

“With rising costs, organisations are doing their best to keep their IT running but in the most efficient and economic way possible,” says Neil Eke, director of datacentre solutions at Computacenter. “While there are a number of ways to enhance efficiency – including virtualisation and automation – many organisations are focusing on power efficiency in particular.”

The research, conducted among 250 IT decision-makers at IP Expo in October 2012, showed that only 5% of UK organisations did not rate efficiency as important because of reasons such as short-term expense and focus on other IT projects.

Renewable energy also a top priority for datacentre managers

According to the study, IT managers understood also rated using alternative datacentre cooling and lighting resources such as wind and solar power as among their top priorities for the coming years (11% and 17% respectively).

But as organisations optimise the power usage effectiveness (PUE) of their datacentres and make the most of their existing energy consumption, the use of alternative cooling resources will rise too, Computacenter has said.

“Datacentres are often regarded as a utility headache, with power costs rising year-on-year,” Eke said. 

“It is unsurprising that not only are organisations putting datacentre efficiency to the top of their lists in the next three to five years, but also starting to consider alternative heating, lighting and power sources, as well as other options such as water cooling.”

Taking advantage of natural resources – such as wind power and solar energy – will help the IT industry address the larger sustainability challenges, Eke said.

Computacenter’s research echoes an Ovum research conducted in November that enterprises will try to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their datacentres in 2013 to reduce overall IT costs.

The sustainable datacentre market will see accelerated growth in 2013 as it becomes more focused on cost-savings, according to the Ovum study.

Read more on Datacentre energy efficiency and green IT