Economic Concerns Have One Exception by Carol Wilson
Economic concerns have one exception
There is no doubt that the economy has supplanted environmental concerns as a priority in the minds of most if not all business leaders over the last six months. Many companies had the best of intentions at the beginning of 2008 of pursuing “greener” pastures – more telecommuting to reduce driving; lower electricity consumption in offices; less non-essential business travel and incentives to encourage car-pooling and other employee energy-saving measures were all hot topics.
Fast forward a year and businesses may still be pursuing some of those activities with a twist – they are more concerned with saving money than saving the environment. According to one leading telecom executive, however, there is an exception to this rule.
Fran Shammo, the new president of Verizon Business, is still hearing his customers talk about green data centers and the need to reduce power consumption and explore the use of alternative energy sources. Shammo was in Chicago this week to meet with his customer advisory board, a group of 18 top industry executives who gather twice a year to give Verizon Business feedback and get some information in return.
“I haven’t heard much discussion about environmental issues with the exception of green data centers,” Shammo said in an interview. “Our customers are talking to us and asking if there is a different way to operate that can be more green.”
Data centers are of growing importance to industry, and many companies want to outsource them to network operators or others, but are concerned about spiraling costs of electricity and even, in some areas, the unavailability of power, Shammo said. “Our customers are definitely looking for non-traditional ways of powering their data centers.”
If such concerns survive at a time when companies are struggling to stay afloat, it’s a clear sign that green data center technology is a prime issue for the future.