August 4, 2008

CDW Report: Ninety Percent of IT Professionals Care About Energy Efficient IT (E2IT); Less Than Half of Organizations Have It

CDW Corporation, a leading provider of technology products and services to business, government and education, today released its 2008 Energy Efficient IT (E2IT) Report, based on a June survey of 778 information technology (IT) professionals in the public and private sectors who purchase IT equipment. The survey found that while most organizations care about reducing energy consumption and significant savings are realistic, success comes only with sharp, persistent focus on energy-efficiency opportunities throughout the IT organization.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, energy use in the nation's data centers doubled between 2000 and 2006 and is projected to double again by 2011. The E2IT Report examines where energy efficiency stands in IT decision-making priorities, what barriers inhibit adoption of energy-efficient IT systems, and what organizations that reduce their IT energy bills successfully do that sets them apart. CDW surveyed IT executives in business, Federal, state and local government, and K-12 and higher education.

"While energy efficiency has become a 'motherhood' value in IT - more than 90 percent of IT buyers say they care about it - there is often much uncertainty about what to do, primarily because good information is severely lacking," said CDW Vice President Mark Gambill. "The first step in reducing energy consumption is to know what you are spending, yet more than 40 percent of technology professionals say they don't see their organization's energy bill."

Conversely, when organizations have access to information about their energy use and manage energy consumption, substantial energy savings are possible. The CDW E2IT Report found that 39 percent of IT professionals whose organizations have energy management initiatives successfully reduced their total IT energy costs by as much as 40 percent annually by employing a range of measures such as:

-- Buying equipment with low-power/low-wattage processors

-- Buying ENERGY STAR 4.0 qualifying devices

-- Training employees to shut down their equipment when it is not in use

-- Implementing server consolidation, optimization and virtualization

-- Making full use of power management tools incorporated into equipment as diverse as desktop devices and load-shedding uninterruptible power supplies in data centers

"There is no silver bullet," added Gambill. "Organizations that are successful at reducing IT energy costs dig deeper, attacking the problem more consistently across all facets of their IT systems than other organizations do. More than 90 percent of them take ownership of their energy bill and advocate efficiency improvements throughout IT operations."

CDW's E2IT Report found a gap between thought and action concerning energy efficiency. While executive support for it is broadly based, energy efficiency quickly falls down the list of priority considerations in IT purchasing decisions. When organizations do buy equipment with energy management features, they often fail to use those tools, thereby losing much of the related savings opportunity. Specific findings include:

-- Only one-third of IT executives say energy efficiency is a very important consideration when selecting new equipment, often falling below operational considerations such as performance, reliability or service and support

-- While 31 percent of IT executives who buy desktop equipment select ENERGY STAR 4.0 qualifying devices, more than half of them - 62 percent - admit they do not make full use of the power management tools that earn the equipment the ENERGY STAR label

-- While 32 percent of IT executives buying data center equipment choose energy-efficient, load-shedding uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), more than half of this group do not use the software incorporated in those UPS systems to monitor power demand and energy use

To take full advantage of energy-reduction opportunities, IT executives said they need more and better actionable information. Forty-nine percent said they simply do not know all of the things they can do to improve energy efficiency. Items high on their energy efficiency wish lists include:

-- Easier identification of energy-efficient equipment options - for example, labeling and cataloging equipment with certified ratings of power demand and energy use (54 percent)

-- A clear set of industry standards for what constitutes energy-efficient equipment in the data center (55 percent)

-- Assistance finding the best consolidation/virtualization options for their systems (47 percent)

The E2IT Report includes findings specific to each of the industry groups surveyed, such as:

-- Businesses are the most likely to see actual reductions of 1 percent or more in total energy costs - 46 percent compared to 37 percent of the other groups

-- Federal agencies are most likely to have a formal, organization-wide policy to guide buying decisions that affect energy consumption - 65 percent compared to 51 percent of the other groups

-- State and local governments are most likely to report that they are approaching the limits of their power supply in some locations - 45 percent compared to 36 percent of the other groups

-- Higher education institutions are least likely to assign the IT department responsibility for its energy bill - 49 percent compared to 59 percent of the other groups

-- K-12 institutions are least confident in their knowledge of energy efficiency - 57 percent say they do not know everything they could do to improve efficiency, compared to 47 percent of the other groups

"Consistent with the findings in CDW's Green IT Survey released on July 23, the E2IT Report detects high levels of support for energy efficiency among IT executives, but E2IT also finds serious deficits in the information needed to address it effectively," concluded Gambill. "There are tools to help, but the range of available options may be daunting for organizations that lack resources to tackle the challenge."

E2IT, CDW's Energy Efficient IT national online survey, was taken during June 2008. It collected responses from 778 IT professionals with responsibility for purchasing IT equipment in business, the Federal government, state and local governments, higher education and K-12 education. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-3.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error for each industry sample is +/-8.0 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

For a copy of the complete CDW Energy Efficient IT Report, please visit

About CDW

CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government and education. Ranked No. 39 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies, CDW features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company's technology specialists offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers can assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions.

CDW was founded in 1984 and as of December 31, 2007 employed approximately 6,300 coworkers. In 2007, the company generated sales of $8.1 billion. For more information, visit