When it comes to energy consumption across the network, organisations need to look further than just the data centre. Organisations must be vigilant with energy usage if green targets are to be met and carbon reduction must start now to penetrate every aspect of a company. There is little sense in having an energy efficient data centre if the rest of the network fails to reach green computing targets.

By monitoring and efficiently managing network devices and desktop elements, particularly PCs and thin clients, a business can demonstrably contribute to green IT targets to reduce drain on energy and financial resources. The UK is the first country to adopt a legally binding objective to reduce emissions, so businesses need to act now to help reduce the impact on the environment.

Thousands of pounds are wasted on energy and electricity bills throughout UK businesses annually, particularly in larger organisations such as the NHS, whose current carbon footprint is 18 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The NHS has pledged to become England’s leading low carbon organisation and reach a ten per cent reduction in its 2007 carbon footprint by 2015. Organisations need to set themselves an ambitious target if they are to reduce their carbon output.

24/7 IT access is crucial to business operation but is also a huge drain on power and resources. Employing a best practice approach to power management enables organisations to apply policies and profiles and set green targets by identifying trends in computer power usage and encourage restraint in user activity.

Power management puts PCs and thin clients in to hibernation, standby mode or shuts them down. Deployed correctly, power management can be accountable for a 98 per cent power saving, using hibernation mode, which is the most efficient mode using only two per cent of a PCs power. Standby mode is slightly higher and draws 25 per cent of total power.

Historically, power management has been difficult to install, so organisations may be reluctant to invest in such solutions. However, with significant changes in architecture and deployment, this is no longer the case. IT managers need to source a solution that uses mature tools, is easy to deploy and guarantees results so that day-to-day work and productivity levels are not affected.

A mature solution enables effective management of power consumption and actively contributes to green computing targets and reduces the demand on resources. For example, IT maintenance can be challenging during business hours. An effective solution sets policies to accommodate this, enabling PCs to be automatically switched on out of hours, ensuring users are not interrupted and computers are put into hibernation on completion of maintenance work.

IT managers are not solely responsible for improving power efficiency and every user needs be encouraged to reduce their individual carbon footprint. Point scoring systems that award and deduct points depending on a user’s IT habits can motivate a person to contribute to their workplace’s green targets. Effective power management tools require no training or technical expertise so users can be part of the power saving community.

Organisations are under increasing pressure to adopt a green strategy. Businesses that embrace mature power management will meet environmental targets and reduce costs. Power management is the obvious next step for businesses that want to contribute to the green agenda and work towards creating a low carbon Britain.