Research: Thumbs-up for IT's attention to energy efficiency, thumbs-down for lifecycle management

Don't mean to bring you down, but since more of you are likely to be reading about environmental issues today, it being Earth Day and all, I figured I would share some statistics from a new Sustainable Computing Assessment benchmark that has been created by Redemtech.The IT asset disposition company looks at five different areas for its benchmark: productivity, reuse, accountability, energy and environmental social responsibility—all pertaining to a business' green IT strategy.

Don't mean to bring you down, but since more of you are likely to be reading about environmental issues today, it being Earth Day and all, I figured I would share some statistics from a new Sustainable Computing Assessment benchmark that has been created by Redemtech.

The IT asset disposition company looks at five different areas for its benchmark: productivity, reuse, accountability, energy and environmental social responsibility—all pertaining to a business' green IT strategy. In its mind, a score of 75 percent of better is the sign of a "mature" green IT program. But most of the companies subjected to Redemtech's analysis scored between 32 percent and 37 percent.

The good news is that many of these companies considered were well-attuned to the importance of energy efficiency and had applied some management and best practices to these areas. The bad news is that few had very well-documented strategies for taking assets out of service, or did they know how adjusting the technology lifecycle might impact both their sustainability profile AND their cost structure. Larger companies with more than 100,000 employees were more likely to have strategies than smaller companies with fewer than 500 employees.

An example, Redemtech reports that the average lifecycle for a desktop computer is 37.2 months among the companies that it has benchmarked. By moving the in-service life of a desktop to four years (48 months), an organization can save roughly $325 in original cost. Savings increase if you push this to 4.5 years. A huge caveat as far as I'm concerned: I'm not sure whether or not Redemtech considers the cost of maintenance and software patches for these computers in its math. So you can take these numbers with a grain of salt. In my opinion, these calculators are great for getting you to think about your position, but there are so many nuances that can't be accounted for in a simple spreadsheet.

Here's more information about Redemtech's Sustainable Computing Assessment and the results thereof. Maybe you can get someone's attention today and see where your own company stands. You can take the assessment yourself at this link.