Press Release Detail
New Study Shows eCommerce Companies in Need of IT Sustainability and Efficiency Improvements, But Failing to Take Action
Comprehensive BPM Forum and Rackable Systems survey and report shows eCommerce industry more sensitized to benefits of going green in the data center, but lacking leadership
(Palo Alto, CA - February 9, 2009)
A resounding 97 percent of IT professionals feel that it is important for their Internet and eCommerce related businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, yet little real action is underway to reduce energy consumption in the data center, according to a report released today. Eighty-two percent say their organizations are more sensitized to ecological considerations, but that same amount give the industry a failing grade in their progress of embracing so-called Think Eco-Logical processes and practices. These insights are among the many findings in an executive report: Think Eco-Logical - IT Sustainability Imperatives in Internet and eCommerce Business by The BPM Forum and its Global Renewable Energy and Environmental Network (GREEN) in conjunction with Rackable Systems (NASDAQ: RACK) and Intel, around a comprehensive online survey and executive dialogs including insights from over 275 IT professionals. The new report is part of a Think Eco-Logical initiative to educate companies on the need to address both the environmental side (Eco) of IT sustainability imperatives and the economics (Logical) of achieving environmental efficiencies in the data center. The EPA states that over the next five years, power failures and limits on availability will stop operations at more than 90 percent of data centers. Despite the clear implications of this pending reality, the BPM Forum study shows that Internet companies have a long way to go to engage in comprehensive Think Eco-Logical practices. In fact, according to the study, more than 43 percent of companies don't have or don't know if they have a corporate sustainability agenda in place. And lack of awareness of business benefits was identified as the top challenge to environmental sustainability. The report shows some positive signs as IT executives become more actively aware and engaged in ecological issues: 89 percent think they are acting ecological to some extent90 percent attach importance to their servers being ecologicalReducing energy costs, satisfying CSR, and positive PR are top benefits However, data from the report suggests that while intentions are good, there is a startling dearth of leadership for green initiatives and practices -- lack of executive focus was cited by about half of respondents as a top environmental sustainability challenge. Meaningful executive action is also lagging; conducting conversation, setting CSR guidelines, and doing nothing topped the list of management activities to push the ecological mantra. "Corporate America is coming to grips with the need for social responsibility like never before, but this needs to translate to positive change in the short term," said Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the BPM Forum. "Faced with a myriad of forces and factors, including a severely challenged economy and peer pressure to become more sustainable, IT executives must drive ecological action, not just rhetoric." The increased demand for Internet services such as online shopping, video downloads, social networks and massive search queries are placing a huge strain on the nation's energy infrastructure. And Internet companies are feeling the pressure to keep up. Cost cutting and rising lighting, power, and cooling costs were among the top pressures for Thinking Eco-Logical, according to the survey findings. Three out of four of the top ecological plans over the next year to realize these cost improvements involve improved server solutions: virtualization, consolidation, and server efficiency. "While we are encouraged that so many companies feel that they have started to Think Eco-Logical, the survey findings match our experience in the field that shows a real need for leadership and best practices on how to achieve the necessary efficiency improvements in IT," said George Skaff, vice president of marketing at Rackable Systems. "By building additional awareness and offering better solutions around Think Eco-Logical, we are helping more organizations improve data center productivity while reducing costs and carbon footprint." Think Eco-Logical Internet Report Available for Download
The Think Eco-Logical - IT Sustainability Imperatives in Internet and eCommerce Business report is available for download here. For more information on the Think Eco-Logical initiative or Rackable Systems, visit www.rackable.com/thinkecological. For more information on the BPM Forum or the GREEN group, visit www.bpmforum.org.