PC power management (PCPM) is overlooked by business organizations, despite the cost savings it can deliver, according to a report by Ovum. According to the independent technology analyst firm, average power consumption savings of 40 percent are being ignored, due in part to fear from IT departments that PCPM solutions may disrupt core IT operations.
In the company's report assessing 11 of the leading PCPM solutions, Ovum points to annual power consumption savings of around $36 per PC, and associated reductions of 380 kilowatt-hour (kWh) and 586 pounds of CO2 per PC per year. Additionally, the payback period for many solutions is expected to be no more than six months, and in the U.S. the solution costs may be completely offset by utility rebates, the report noted.
"With the cost of electricity rising and increasing pressure on organizations to implement sustainability initiatives, PCPM solutions can be an effective way to reduce energy consumption, and therefore operating costs," said Rhonda Ascierto, Ovum senior analyst and author of the report. However, even though Ovum research shows IT budgets remaining flat in 2011 and growing carbon-reduction requirements and mandates, many IT decision-makers continue to forgo PCPM, despite its significant cost-saving benefits.
"There exists a general mistrust among IT departments and a fear that power management solutions may disrupt core IT operations," said Ascierto. "But this is a misconception: None of the power-management solutions we review in this report disrupts maintenance or other IT processes."
Lack of adoption could also be due to IT administrators' inflated expectations of the effectiveness of desktops' built-in power-saving technologies. Yet, while newer desktop machines and operating systems have improved power-saving features, Ovum believes they are inadequate, as they are largely unable to tackle "PC insomnia," which occurs when a machine is idle yet unable to shut down or switch into a low-power mode. "Organizations need to consider power management solutions as part of their broader business and sustainability strategies. The focus should be on solutions that deliver measurable and actionable results, which will encourage employee participation," Ascierto noted.
A recent Ovum report also found penetration of sustainability-related IT solutions stands at about 10 percent worldwide, indicating substantial opportunity for vendors of these solutions and competitive advantage for companies that move quickly to adopt them. About 60 percent of adopters called sustainability "very important" or "important" to their organizations, but it still ranked sixth on a list of 13 priorities, below cost reduction, customer satisfaction, revenue growth, responsiveness and risk avoidance.