A survey of 120 IT enterprises in the United Kingdom starkly suggests that enterprises are struggling at utilizing their data centers, with worse results when it comes to controlling carbon emissions.

An excerpt from ComputerWorld UK:

The 120 IT professionals that responded to the survey manage more than 500,000 workers in the UK in total, and have a combined budget of more than £475 million. Global Action Plan launched the survey, as part of a larger in-depth report called the Inefficient Truth, to politicians environmental and IT industry leaders at a special event at the House of Commons today.

Here are some brief pointers from the survey backed by Global Action Plan:

  • 86% of those surveyed had no measure of the carbon footprint of their data centers
  • 80% of respondents did not believe their company policies were environmentally sustainable
  • Two-thirds of the firms surveyed had already utilized 75% of their data center floor space
  • One-fifth of the firms only used 30% of their server capacity

Many firms are also ill-equipped to manage data center growth in the long term. In a recent report, Gartner stated that data servers account for 25% of carbon emissions in IT services, which amounts to 2% of global carbon emissions. The growth in data storage surpasses that of even the aviation industry.

Among the reasons quoted for the lack of initiative from the enterprise side were dearth of tax breaks and industry wide energy efficiency standards, as well as the pressures of time and cost of implementation.

Ironically, virtualization and cooling solutions, along with innovative examples for the benefits of data center utilization for businesses and the environment exist today.

When it makes business sense and is environmentally safe to make the most optimum utilization of data centers, what more do you think the industry needs or doesn’t need?