One of the IT services companies that closely partners with IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems, released an interesting survey earlier this week that confirms what I've believed for some time: IT managers don't really care about being green in the environmental sense as much as they care about saving money. The thing is, I really don't think these two things are mutually exclusive.
A full 86 percent of the companies surveyed by Logicalis admitted that they would be more likely to make an IT decision based on saving money rather than related to its positive impact on the environment. Of course, I happen to believe that many decisions do both.
Consider, for example, that nearly 88 percent of the Logicalis survey respondents are planning to use virtualization technologies in their data centers within the next 12 months (if they haven't already adopted it). This, of course, translates into an environment where servers are more highly utilized and where the equipment that is idle can be shut down. Score one for both the environmentalists and the penny-pinchers.
Approximately 85 percent of the IT managers surveyed by Logicalis plan to reduce the number of servers. Score another point for green (tech) and green (as in the color of money).
The simplest way to make a green argument without being accused of idealism is to figure out the power management impact of whatever consolidation or virtualization practice you're adopting. Logicalis reports that one of its customers was able to save $82,216 in electricity costs during the first year of a server consolidation project.
Hmm. That sounds like a whole lot of green to me, even if it was accidental.