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UK Top Retailers Face Rocketing Data Centre Energy Expenses

New research commissioned by data centre infrastructure firm RichardsoNEyres shows that 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.

The survey also showed that moe than 80 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.