Forrester: PC power management still not widespread

Most IT professionals are not managing PC power use within their organisations, even as many companies look to cut costs, Forrester has said.

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Most IT professionals, according to a survey conducted by Forrester, are not managing PC power use within their organisations, even as many companies look to cut costs because of the economic recession. By not doing so, they may be passing up big savings, especially in regions with high energy costs.

Forrester surveyed 91 IT managers in midsize and large companies about their PC power management practices. The consulting firm, which issued a report about the survey to its clients this month, found that only 13 percent of the respondents had implemented wide-scale power management programs, while another 18 percent had set up programs but not for all of their PCs.

The top reason cited for the low deployment rate was IT managers not being responsible for technology energy costs, said Doug Washburn, the Forrester analyst who conducted the survey.

The survey results aren't surprising: The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that no more than 10 percent of all PCs in use within organisations have their power management capabilities turned on.

One reason for that may be scepticism about how much money can be saved per PC. Another may be the continued use of Windows XP. Windows Vista gives administrators the ability to natively manage power settings on PCs over a network, but XP does not, although there are third-party tools available for that, including a free one from the EPA called EZ GPO.

In addition, managing electricity usage typically falls under the duties of facilities managers such as Forrest Miller, director of support services at the Lake Washington School District in Redmond, Wash. Among other things, he is responsible for the power utilisation of about 11,500 PCs.

For the past few years, Miller has been using software from Seattle-based Verdiem to manage the school district's PC power consumption. The tool is set to put PCs into sleep mode after 20 minutes of inactivity, said Miller, whose IT department administers the software for him.

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