With ever-increasing pressure on IT budgets, and ever-increasing pressure on businesses to reduce their environmental footprint, companies must look for IT solutions that are not only cost-effective but green too.
For most companies, managing their own data center is not likely to be strategically important. Therefore, increasing numbers are outsourcing their data center operations to third party providers, to enjoy lower cost and more operationally reliable and efficient services.
In tandem, green data centers are gaining momentum due to environmental concerns, but also because they can operate much more cost efficiently. Compared to standard data centers, or building, owning and managing an in-house data center, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a green data center can be far less. This is due to lower CapEx through economies of scale, reduced energy costs through low power usage effectiveness (PUE), lower OpEx through specialised expertise and efficient operations, and an overall climate positive result by reusing the heat that the data center produces.
Many businesses need to put a greater emphasis on understanding the real environmental impact of not only their own business processes, but their third-party suppliers, business partners and the business decisions that are made. This isn’t always easy, for example, the environmental impact of a business decision can be unclear. You may be changing a service to create a more sustainable end-product for customers, but a side effect can be increased use of data or the need for greater server capacity, which can result in an overall negative environmental impact.
Green data centers can also, given their cost-efficiency, be designed to operate with much higher efficiency. Downtime costs can easily exceed all other costs associated with data center operations. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of an unplanned data center outage is over $740,000, but with effective management many instances of downtime can be avoided.
Data centers are classified in tiers, usually offering tier I, II and III. The higher the tier number, the lower the likelihood of downtime. However, a tier IV classification is now available. This guarantees 100% uptime for a comparable cost to the average tier II service, made possible because of its green credentials.
As well as the financial cost of a company’s IT operations not being green, there is also a significant reputational cost if your in-house services or outsourced suppliers could be more environmentally friendly. Customers are more engaged with the company reputations than ever and will be naturally drawn to those who can evidence solid values and good environmental behaviour.
When climate-positive solutions with higher levels of service and stability can be delivered at a much lower cost, can you afford not to go green?