Businesses Failing To Tackle PC Power Management

CloudCloud ManagementDatacentreGreen-ITInnovationLegalMobilityNetworksRegulationSecurityWorkspace

Global survey reveals the majority of businesses are missing out on the potential cost savings from PC estate power management technologies and policies

Survey results released today have revealed a reluctance to implement power management technologies and policies and a lack of awareness of their potential cost and power-saving benefits.

Only 10 percent of companies are using desktop power management, according to the worldwide survey of over 500 IT professionals carried out by systems management appliance vendor, KACE.

The survey respondents cited the availability of computers for systems administration tasks such as patching as the number one reason for not deploying desktop power management (43 percent). But, at the same time, it emerged that 34 percent felt users did not want their machines powered down automatically.

Despite this perception on the part of both IT staff and end-users not to leave responsibility for managing the power consumed by PC and laptop estates to automated systems, just over 20 percent relied on staff to implement power management policies manually.

“I was surprised by the findings of the survey,” Jim Docherty, KACE managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) told eWEEK Europe. “They reveal a lack of education and awareness of the potential savings available by being smarter about the way businesses are powering their PC and laptop estates, especially when you think about each PC system being left on to the standby light on your TV. Multiply that by the eight hours a day they are left on, unused and then apply it to the thousands of PCs a company can run, and you get an idea of the order of magnitude of power savings we’re talking about.”

Almost half of the survey respondents were not aware of the cost savings that could be achieved (48 percent) and, perhaps most surprisingly, this lack of awareness was highest among frontline IT staff (58 percent), as opposed to senior decision makers.

Docherty suggested the lack of awareness stemmed from misconceptions about the capabilities of PC power management tools. “The message that came through from the survey was that IT thought these tools would prevent them from carrying out [out-of-hours] maintenance like asset management or patching, but that’s not the case with our technology,” he said.

“You can remotely wake up a PC to do maintenance on it and power it down again, just as you would switch off the lights in an office. When the cleaner comes in after hours they switch on the lights to clean and simply switch them off again when they’re done.”

And he added that traditionally, the focus on IT power savings has centred on the data centre, “because the majority of power used in cooling and running key systems is spent there”. But the survey revealed those respondents that had implemented desktop power management reported higher cost and power savings than had been expected.

“I’m sure there is wider capacity for power management tools built into systems management tools already being used to be turned on,” he added. “It’s just not being exploited.”