Study finds adoption of software solutions key for improving IT energy efficiency

CA, Inc. has announced the results of a study investigating the impact of environmental considerations on current and future IT investment decisions.

The CA-commissioned study found that organisations are considering, and have budgeted for, software solutions to improve the efficiency of their IT infrastructure and to solve the environmental challenges posed by the rapidly increasing use of computing resources in large corporations.

The Echo Research, Inc. survey of more than 250 IT decision makers at large companies in the U.S. and U.K. found that IT departments recognise the impact this consumption has on the environment and have begun looking for green solutions. A large percentage of the respondents indicated that implementing energy-efficient hardware and/or software solutions, and system automation tools are included in IT plans to help companies carry out green initiatives.

Although many companies talk about going green for the good of the environment, the research indicates that the respondents consider it a secondary benefit. At both the U.S. and U.K. companies, the biggest influences to adopting green technology are cost implications. Other influences that IT executives in the U.S. and U.K. also consider are disruptive IT failures, and responsibilities to corporate, the community, and the environment. In the U.S., regulatory pressures also weigh-in, while U.K. IT executives are also influenced by depletion of natural resources. 

According to the study, the concern over cost and service disruption is leading to an increase in the adoption of software solutions to support green efforts such as virtualisation, consolidation and system efficiency. As IT executives consider green solutions, they are realizing that replacing existing hardware with more energy efficient technology is often cost prohibitive, and that implementing IT software management solutions can lead to significant efficiency and cost savings. In fact, 80 percent of U.S. companies and more than 70 percent of U.K. companies consider software solutions to be very important to their ability to promote energy efficiency.

Corporations and their IT departments are recognising their impact or carbon footprint on the environment and are actively engaged in finding green IT solutions. While many have looked to hardware and power systems as part of these solutions, this study confirms that software plays a vital role in helping to manage energy efficiency, said Don LeClair, senior vice president at CA. CA is actively working with customers to maximise the energy efficiency of new hardware installations and, perhaps more important, extend the life, efficiency and capacity of current hardware configurations through the adoption of software solutions. Our customers have seen that better management of the IT infrastructure can bring both cost savings and environmental benefits. To reap true cost-savings, IT executives must look to implement software management technology that enables better measurement and performance of the IT infrastructure.

The majority of companies surveyed are currently using software solutions for network, database, systems performance, configuration and asset management.

However, more companies in the U.S. have taken on software solutions to improve the efficiency of their data centres overall than in the U.K.

*       Approximately 60 percent in the U.S. have applied software in their data centres or to servers to help manage energy efficiency.

*       More than half in the U.S. manage efficiency by applying software to their mainframes.

*       U.S. companies are also more likely than their U.K. counterparts to currently be using network management software and virtual machine software.

IT Budgets Include Energy-Efficient Purchases

According to the survey, the majority of IT budgets already factor in energy-efficient software solutionsapproximately 90 percent in the U.S. and 80 percent in the U.K. Also, U.S. companies are more likely to budget for software for the virtualization and/or consolidation of servers, storage and data centers. U.K. companies are more likely to budget for software to implement PC and server power management.

The survey also measured the contribution to green IT initiatives and the satisfaction within budgeted software solutions. The findings include:

*       Of U.S. companies using software applications, virtual machine software and network management software are the areas above average for budget and for current contribution to green initiatives.

*       For U.K. companies, virtual machine software, application performance management, and database management are the software areas reported as above average for budget and for current contribution.

*       In the U.S., virtual machine software and event automation are above average areas for budget and IT executives responded being satisfied with their current solutions in these areas.

*       Virtual machine software is the only area that U.K. IT executives consider to be above average for budget and provide above average satisfaction ratings with their current softwares contribution to green initiatives.

Research Methodology

In order to qualify for this research study, participants must have been responsible or have oversight for environmental issues associated with IT hardware and software and be responsible for at least two of the following: administration of IT hardware, software and services; determining IT hardware, software and services needs; approving computer and networking consultants; approving or selecting manufacturers or providers of IT hardware, software and services. A total of 252 interviews were completed with a random selection of large-sized companies in the U.S. and U.K. In order to qualify, companies must have had annual revenues of $500 million or more in U.S. (or 250 million or more in the U.K.). The survey was completed in April 2008 on behalf of CA by Echo Research, Inc.

A detailed copy of the Echo Research Report, The Future of Green IT Implications for Software Solutions, is available at:

More information about CA Greenability can be found at:


About CA
CA is the worlds leading independent IT management software company. With CA's Enterprise IT Management (EITM) vision and expertise, organisations can more effectively govern, manage and secure IT to optimise business performance and sustain competitive advantage. For more information, visit


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