Users Take the Lead On Power Management

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Users want to save power by turning their PCs off – it’s their companies that are holding them back, says research

User attitudes, not company policy, is driving the adoption of power management schemes that can reduce firms’ carbon footprint, according to a survey.

Half of users turn their PCs off at night – but they are doing it because they are concerned about costs and the environment, not because of company policy, said the survey of 122 UK organisations, commissioned by PC management firm Verismic.

Turn off and save money

The survey echoes the views of eWEEK readers who said in a poll in 2010, that switching PCs off was the best way to cut corporate carbon emissions. However, all too often users’ green aspirations actually run counter to company policy, since some IT departments require PCs to be left on overnight, so patches can be applied, said Verismic CEO Ashley Leonard, presenting the research at an event in London.

Leonard welcomed the result of course, as Verismic offers a product (pictured) which manages the power state of the PC, which he says can satisfy both users’ and security managers’ desires.

“While 91 percent of respondents ‘cared’ how much their employer spent on energy, 49 percent ‘worried’ about energy usage at work,” said green IT expert Jean Ritchie, commenting on the results at an event in London. “Possibly the remainder thought that employers were taking appropriate steps to limit energy usage, or felt there was nothing they could do.”

“The perception that it is handled already is a challenge,” said Leonard. In fact, even if laptops shut down to save battery life, there are still improvements to make on that, which will improve the longevity of the batteries as well as saving energy.

Legislation is arriving to persuade companies to cut power use, such as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, but users will be hit sooner and harder by increases in energy cost, according to Mark Bailey, green IT expert at law firm Speechly Bircham: “The energy crunch will hit first.”

Although the panel agreed that companies are increasing their efficiency by moving IT into the cloud, desktops remain a place where users will be aware of energy being wasted, so using power management can address real power issues as well as helping end users get involved in improvements in efficiency.

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