New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Green Data Centers—Emerging Trends and Developments,” finds that cost savings, along with the economic downturn, have emerged as the main catalysts in green information technology (IT) initiatives.

The economic downturn has emerged as an unlikely driver for the adoption of green data centers. In an attempt to cut costs, data center owners are investigating technologies and solutions that would enhance the energy efficiency of their data centers. IT companies running data centers also are keen on implementing green technologies that might not have been a high priority if not for the economic slump.

According to the report, high energy costs are motivating chief information officers (CIOs) to find technologies that will help reduce power bills. Green technologies, such as virtualization, cloud computing and power management techniques, are capable of significantly lowering the energy consumption of a data center.

In the past few years, there have been several instances where companies have cut energy costs and operational expenditures by adopting green technologies in the data center. Although a majority of companies claim that they are going green due to environmental concerns, cost saving is the primary objective of adopting green IT.

Green technologies offer three main advantages: Reduced energy consumption in data centers leads to both cost and environmental benefits. In addition, the dissipation of less heat compared to typical data center hardware results in minimal cooling requirements. Virtualization also aids in significantly reducing the number of servers required for IT operations, thereby saving considerable space.

Vendors require infrastructure to support efficient cooling techniques and buy new servers to handle virtualization and uninterruptible power supplies, all of which require sizeable investments. Currently, not many companies are capable of investing so much money on these aspects due to cost constraints.

Frost & Sullivan is advising the IT industry to focus on energy management software and develop innovative platforms to increase the power efficiency of data centers. Electrical contractors are in a perfect position for achieving the latter goal.