Speaking about the findings, Roel Castelein, EMEA Marketing chair for The Green Grid said:“The real-world objectives of data centre management and the ability to keep track of energy efficiency should be going hand-in-hand if resources are to be effectively managed. What our research shows is that while data centres are recognised as a central part of organisations’ energy efficiency strategies, many are operating and making decisions, to a certain degree, in the dark.”
The Green Grid, a global consortium dedicated to advancing resource efficiency in the IT sector, commissioned the research, which was conducted in October 2015. 150 IT decision makers were questioned within end-user organisations with data centre responsibilities in the UK, France and Germany.
Key findings include:
- 88 per cent stated that data centres are an important part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy
- However, nearly half (43 per cent) have no energy efficiency objectives in place for the design and operation of their data centres
- In addition, only 29 per cent of organisations are able to entirely quantify the environmental impact of their data centres
- This is despite increasing pressure from both national and EU policy makers to improve environmental sustainability
- Nevertheless, 97 per cent saw areas in which their data centre monitoring, including energy efficiency, could be improved
Roel continued:“Our research also found that the top four challenges and opportunities at the board level were all to do with reducing and predicting costs, rather than on ‘green’ or resource efficient objectives. This is likely driven by customer requirements in an extremely competitive marketplace, requiring increasing flexibility and ‘always on’ functionality, despite the common focus on data centres in CSR strategies. Data centre managers need to adapt their ambitions for the future, moving away from immediate ROI towards long-term sustainability.”
Some of the findings presented a positive outlook for future innovations in data centre resource efficiency, with nearly all those surveyed clearly seeing areas for improvement and 55 per cent stating that energy efficiency was their highest advancement priority. However, to match the European Commission’s expectation for data centres to be at least 80 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2020, IT leaders will need to commit to renovating their resource efficiency policies. Working towards this goal will also require significant efforts from energy suppliers and governments.
Roel concluded:“It is clear that many IT leaders need greater support in putting in place more effective resource-efficiency measures. The Green Grid, with its global membership and access to the latest in efficient data centre design and operations, is a partner that all those with data centre responsibilities should consider more closely.”