I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

Bob Worrall, Sun’s CIO wrote an article for Forbes called “Sun Microsystems’ IT Tips.”

Here’s an excerpt about datacenter power reduction:

Thinking Ecologically, Thinking Economically.

Since the power consumption of data centers doubled between 2000 and 2005, it’s no surprise that 25% of an IT budget is consumed by energy costs alone. Some analysts say infrastructure power usage will soon cost more than the hardware itself.

So it’s clear: What’s good for the environment is imperative for business. When thinking green, think about the dollars you can save with more ecologically friendly technologies. Going green is the responsible choice both environmentally and fiscally. By using best practices in data center design and hardware consolidation, Sun was able to cut our utility bill by over 60% in our Santa Clara, Calif., data center facility. Today’s eco-friendly products not only cost less upfront but also make the total cost of operation significantly less.

And that’s the mindset CIOs should use when approaching management about moving to more green products. In 2009, hard numbers will matter more than a green philosophy, and we suggest that CIOs arm themselves with as much compelling data as possible.

I think Bob is right, but it’s not so easy to accomplish. One of the challenges IT professionals face is finding the funding to do hardware upgrade projects, replacing old inefficient kit with newer more friendly gear.  One solution is to get the company to break down the divisional budget boundaries.

Reducing power consumption more often helps the Facilities/WR budget and not the IT budget.  IT executes a very expensive project and Facilities soaks up the annual savings.  It makes sense to fund the IT project with money from the Facilities budget, but this isn’t easy to do in many companies, partly because the budgets are siloed between organizations and partly because the expense of the project is one-time capital and labor while the savings are in on-going run-rate.

Generally the two orgs will do what’s best for them and not what’s best for the company overall.   CFOs need to get involved and break down the barriers that are created when you dole out pots of money.  That will encourage the “we’re all in this together” approach that’s needed to tackle these ecologically/economically friendly projects.

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~ by brianherman on February 26, 2009.

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