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As "going green" — and saving green — continues gaining popularity, IT departments at universities and school districts are reducing energy costs in their data centers.
In the last three months, education organizations have bought products and services that are energy efficient, water efficient, bio-based, environmentally preferable or non-ozone depleting. A CDW-G survey released Monday April 2 showed that 33 percent of higher education purchases were "green" compared to 30 percent of K-12 purchases.
The fourth annual report includes survey responses from 760 IT professionals in the following sectors: business and nonprofit, federal government, state and local government, higher education and K-12. O'Keefe & Company conducted the survey, which has a ±3.5% margin of error at a 95% confidence level.*
In higher education, IT professionals listed these top three technologies as most likely to save them money:
K-12 respondents cited two different technologies, but agreed with higher education respondents that virtualization is important:
While cloud computing doesn't fall into education's top five technologies, it is gaining steam. Last year's survey showed that 49 percent of higher education IT professionals thought cloud computing could save energy. This year, that number jumped 13 percent to 62.
Since last year's report, 15 percent more IT professionals agree that cloud computing can save energy as they consolidate their data centers. That number now reaches 62 percent.
Likewise, the K-12 responses jumped from 47 percent to 64 percent.
Both higher education and K-12 started using the same three technologies to cut energy costs. The only difference was that virtualized servers and storage came in at No. 1 in higher education.
But not every organization is actually pushing IT departments to cut energy costs. Slightly more than half of the IT departments in all five industries have been asked to save on energy. Nearly a third say no one's made that request.
When asked to cite the major barriers that keep them from using energy more efficiently, respondents cited five factors:
When the first energy-efficient IT report came out in 2008, 43 percent of IT executives said the people who pay their bills don't pay attention to how much energy IT departments use. Four years later, that percentage has not changed.
But more survey respondents do know all the ways they can make their IT organization more efficient. In the 2008 report, 49 percent said they didn't know everything about saving energy. The K-12 sub-group was even higher at 57 percent. In this year's report, the all-industry percentage dropped to 42 percent.
Overall, organizations are taking steps to save energy in their data centers as well as in their entire IT operations. On their way down this path, they're figuring out what technologies could give them the most energy-efficient results, realizing that cloud computing has energy-saving potential and overcoming some major barriers.
*Industry sub-groups have a margin of error of ±7.9% at a 95% confidence level. Each sub-group had 152 respondents.
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