Research Reveals UKís Top 100 Retailersí Concerns Over Spiralling Data Centre Energy Costs

On average, top UK retailers are overspending by £1.25 million a year on the power needed to run their data centres which can equate to 50 per cent of total data centre costs and 10 per cent of their total energy bills. These shock findings are revealed in new research commissioned by data centre infrastructure specialist RichardsoNEyres which also shows that 83 per cent of the UK's top retailers are making rising energy prices and wasted costs a top priority for 2008/9.

The research, undertaken in association with industry analysts IDL, profiled organisations from the UK's top 100 retailers to highlight the main data centre challenges they are facing. The study found that IT capacity management has not kept pace with the growth in data due to online sales, new store openings and the expansion of CRM and ERP. For 60 per cent of study respondents, data centre capacity was a priority area for improvement during this year and this trend is likely to increase.

It was also revealed that the impact of data centre management has broader implications. For example, the survey revealed that improving productivity of data centre staff was a priority, as legacy system environments can consume 25 per cent more of IT staff time and often requires specialised staff. 66 per cent of respondents suggested that improving the productivity of staff was important.

Another crucial implication of an ageing data centre infrastructure is its impact on being able to meet new business standards. Many retailers have yet to implement a robust business continuity and disaster recovery process such as required in the recently launched British Standard BS 25999-2, due to the complexity of the existing data centre infrastructure. To successfully meet the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard, retailers will need to conduct a data centre power and emissions review. Respondents admit that they currently take an informal approach to environmental management procedures, but almost one third acknowledge that adopting this standard is high on their company's agenda.

"Spiralling energy costs and the need to demonstrate good Corporate Social Responsibility means that retailers need their IT infrastructure to catch-up with the best practice demonstrated elsewhere in British industry", said Adam Kemp, Director, RichardsoNEyres.

He continued: "There are many simple, yet effect steps retailers can take to make their data centres run more efficiently. For example, applying virtualisation to the data centre can reduce energy consumption by up to 50%."

RichardsoNEyres supports global responsibility with streamlined IT environments that reduce emissions by allowing businesses to achieve more results with less hardware and reduce business operating costs. These reductions in operational costs also compliment the business Corporate and Social Responsibility by reducing heat and power requirements in the data centre.

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