Global energy management software market to grow in 2013, say analysts

Businesses are increasing investment in energy management software to improve IT efficiency, says Verdantix

Businesses will spend more on energy management software during the next three years as they seek to implement new tools and expand existing deployments to improve the efficiency of their IT, according to analyst firm Verdantix.

The increase in spending comes as energy and sustainability become a critical requirement for enterprises, putting pressure on IT to improve their company's competitiveness and green credentials, as well as satisfying increasing sustainability demands. 

In a recent Computacenter survey, more than half of the UK IT decision-makers questioned cited power efficiency as their number one priority in the datacentre for the next three to five years.

“Big investments in better domain-specific energy management functionality for datacentres and real estate portfolios, easier integration with controls and meters, as well as more scalable data architectures have reshaped the market in the past 18 months,” said Janet Lin, senior manager and co-head of the energy practice at Verdantix.

Strategic energy management programmes in development

According to the analyst firm, large businesses such as Google, Ikea and AT&T have launched strategic energy management programmes to better manage growing energy costs, mitigate security of supply risks and benefit from the potential of decentralised renewable power generation.

“These new corporate energy strategies have created increased demand for enterprise-wide energy data aggregation, powerful reporting and analysis tools,’’ said Lin.

The global energy management software market is poised for growth in 2013

Alisdair McDougall, Verdantix

In a 2010 research report, analyst firm Forrester predicted that the enterprise carbon and energy management (ECEM) category could exceed $1bn in annual sales by 2013.

“The global energy management software market is poised for growth in 2013,” said Alisdair McDougall, Verdantix analyst and author of the report, Green Quadrant Energy Management Software (Global) 2013.

Datacentre managers are already assessing how a new breed of energy management software can help them decide what applications to virtualise or move to the cloud and improve their IT’s energy efficiency.

Enterprise energy management service providers such as JouleX and Power Assure analyse datacentre power consumption and offer recommendations on how to optimise IT assets to reduce datacentre costs.  

But customisation will be a key criterion for users when selecting energy management software.

“Successful software suppliers will develop functionality that maps to the specific requirements of energy domains, a strategy pursued by JouleX for datacentres, SAP in manufacturing and Siemens for retail chains,” said McDougall.

“Product strategies offering a standard set of functionality for all industries have universally failed and have resulted in some suppliers exiting the market,” he said.  

Energy management software comparison

The Verdantix report compared and analysed 14 enterprise-class energy management software applications to help corporate buyers save time, reduce cost and mitigate risk in supplier selection.

Five providers – CA Technologies, CarbonSystems, IBM, Schneider Electric and Verisae – emerged as leaders in the global market for energy management software because of the breadth of energy management functionality they provided, their integration with a wide range of meters and controls, utility bill management, energy credentials, and their collaboration with systems integrators and consultants.

The study was based on the assessment of technologies across 134 energy-efficiency criteria and interviews with customers. The customer panel prioritised functionality for utility bill management, energy monitoring and targeting, energy reporting and certification.

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