IT as an Expense or Profit Centre – Green IT

IT as an Expense or Profit Centre

What does Financial Year 15/16 have in store for your business? Do you have growth plans that require financing to realise? Or perhaps you’re securing profits through internal efficiencies.

Whatever the coming months have in store, you’ll need to make some decisions around your IT.

Such decisions come down to a fundamental question.

“Do you see IT as an expense to be minimised or a profit centre to be utilised?”

Over a few posts, we’ll look at things to consider that might influence a rethink of your current practices.

It’s Easy Being Green – Green IT

Whilst Kermit the Frog once said “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green”, the reality is that linking thoughts around technology and energy usage could save your business money.

Let’s say that you use desktop PCs for managing your daily finances, tracking customers, running your Line of Business application, and pottering around in spreadsheets. It’s a pretty predictable story.

Even with power management features enabled, a PC is still a hungry beast for energy. Especially an older one. Here’s some back of envelope calculations to ponder.

PC vs Thin Client

So, an average garden-variety PC and monitor uses about 497 KW of energy per year. Let’s say that your building has 20 PCs (with one monitor each) that you diligently turn off at the close of business. That’s 20 x 497 = 9,936 KW of power you’re using each year.

A thin client typically uses far less. In fact, some of the new models specify an unbelievably low two (2) Watts. So, re-running the calculations, even assuming 10 Watts (five times as much as those devices), we arrive at about 87 KW for one Thin Client and monitor. That’s 18% of the energy a PC uses.

Replacing those 20 PCs with Thin Clients could see you saving about 8,200 KW of power each year. I don’t know about your energy prices but if we assume 35 cents per KWh, this could be nearly $3,000 (or more) each year. Just from switching to Thin Clients.

Of course, switching computers off when you’re not at work could also save you money with no further effort!

There are additional benefits, though, to the Thin Client story:

  • Thin Clients are typically cheaper to buy than a PC.
  • Thin Clients have very few, if any, moving parts enabling them to remain in service for longer than a hot PC filled with fans and a spinning disk drive. This means that a good Thin Client will typically last twice as long – six (6) years versus three (3) for a PC.
  • Thin Clients facilitate a centralised model for deploying and managing operating systems and software applications. Day-to-day IT servicing requirements can be reduced as a standardised platform can be rolled out, maintained, and periodically upgraded.

You can explore the projected savings for your business by downloading our quick and free PC vs Thin Client Calculator Excel spreadsheet.

It’s important to consider that Thin Clients aren’t for everyone, though. If you’re undertaking a lot of graphics-intensive work, such as drafting CAD drawings, manipulating GIS maps, or artistic pursuits, then you’re better off with a PC or Mac.

But for most of us in the corporate world, a Thin Client could be just the ticket to lowering maintenance costs, improving productivity, reducing your power bill, and doing your bit for the environment.

That sounds like wins for everyone to me.

Next Steps

  • Share this article – who else might find this of interest?
  • Start a chat at work – how does your company view IT?
  • Leave a comment below – what do you think?

Contact Us or phone 1300 LOFTUS (1300 563 887) to discover how Loftus can help maximise your IT return on investment. We make complex simple and beautiful.


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