(6-May-11) A tight economy affects us in a lot of ways: less travel, fewer new cars, less discretionary income in general. But it also tends to put the brakes on IT spending aimed at improving data center efficiency. At the same time, when the cost of energy drops, which it did for a while, green tech takes a hit because reducing energy costs is suddenly not as important as it had been.
In other words, organizational focus on green tech is erratic, rising and falling in response to outside influences. The most recent example of this is the scaling back of green tech projects (and the corresponding decrease of general organizational commitment to the environment) noted by Info-Tech lead analyst Darin Stahl.
“It doesn’t take much to see what will happen with prices—they’ll rise and fall in response to a number of variables,” Stahl says. “And for a small business, even minor variances will have a huge impact on the energy bill. Even a 12-cent jump in costs means that a larger data center’s energy bill can jump from $89K to $108K.”
Following the bouncing energy ball is a short-sighted strategy, Stahl says. “The problem with energy is that it’s not infinite. We’re not building more power plants. So, energy prices will rise overall,” he says. “Going green is a way to get out in front of it.”