For a long time, the concerns over high IT costs have plagued business.  For companies that do not specialize in computing or software, increasing dependencies on IT only serve to dedicate more of the overall budget to something other than the reason for the business.  Gartner and other research firms have estimated that the average operating cost for a Tier 3/Tier 4 data center is around $1250 per square foot.  Driving those costs down have become a major focus for companies of all sizes.

But costs are not the only efficiencies that data centers are striving for.  Nearly 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from commercial and industrial buildings, according to the EPA.  And the power consumed by data centers have doubled in the last five years.  And this trend does not look  like it will be changing any time soon.  And as the demand of energy raises, so does the cost of utilities.

With the growing demand of IT, data centers are having to expand physically.  For many companies, their IT infrastructure is pushing personnel out of their offices as more floor space is required.  Companies are faced with having to acquire additional space to continue or grow the business.  In order to expand physically, the budget needs to expand also; and this is not happening for many companies in the midst of an economic decline.

Unfortunately, instabilities in real estate, the mortgage crisis, rising utilities, and reduced activities by consumers are all issues that are making the matter worse for companies.  Even some promising approaches, such as cloud computing, the green movement, and process management, can prove disastrous if not handled with care.  Any solution that a company takes on, must have the ability to positively impact the efficiencies required by business in this new age.

The best thing that any company can do is to create a checklist of efficiency concerns and use it as a reality check for any major decision or project in the future.

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