Corporate organizations have started adopting a mandate now on corporate social responsibility. Reducing their carbon footprint, is one of the key factors that organizations want to chase. To top it all, there is an everlasting growth pattern of working professionals, who use computing and commuting heavily, that seems to take us away from the focus of reducing our carbon footprint in the organization. (The estimate of growth in the IT sector alone is an additional 1.4 million IT professionals by 2010 as per NASSCOM-McKinsey)
Many organizations have started an exercise at the corporate level to look at reducing emissions and being environment friendly and have formed core groups to reduce the carbon footprint on areas like reduced consumption of electricity from air-conditioning, electrical/electronic equipments, lighting and travel. The focus also spreads to other environment friendly initiatives like reduced wastage of food, rain water harvesting, re-usable and recyclable paper use.
Probably a neglected area till recently, organizations have started looking at computing as an area to reduce carbon emissions. Popularly dotted as GREEN Computing, Data centers, Server farms, Network centers are now trying to get lean on energy. However, desktop computing has not been looked at seriously from this perspective. A simple outlook on this impact, will tell us what we can achieve with a small step.
Just five desktop PCs consume as much energy as an electric heater. Not only are PCs using energy and generating heat, but air conditioners have to work harder to keep temperature levels constant.
So turning off unused PCs cuts both PC and air-conditioning power consumption.
One could achieve savings of around 3000 to 4000 hours of idle time per annum per PC. This could translate to a minimum savings of INR 2.4 Million (USD 50K) per annum for an organization with 1000 desktops.
While there may be compelling reasons like access anytime required, updates, patch management and other reasons that have relaxed the need for a power policy at the corporate level, the increasing global environmental awareness and corporate responsibility at large may make it mandatory that these policies are applied and adhered to across the enterprise.
Increasing strictures on Software Licensing and Piracy demands constant audit of IT assets deployed within organizations. The penalties on non-conformance could lead to loss of business, credibility and litigations. Organizations are trying to find means and measures to address this on a proactive basis.
Organizations are growing rapidly and so are the hardware assets. The audit and controls of these assets are cumbersome, time and manpower intensive. Most often, knowledge of changes in assets is a process that is done just before audits and the periodicity may have to be improved to be effective.
Addressing the compliances on social, cultural and regulatory demands are the areas, where organizations have found balancing a tough act. A regulatory demand may be a cultural no go and thus the organization would have to circumvent this problem using a different mechanism.