HP Models the Benefits of Green IT Overhauls

Technology refreshes are par for the course for any business: from replacing broken or outdated PCs to overhauling a data center, it is a fact of life for facility managers, IT professionals and CIOs. One of the often-heard refrains in the world of green IT involves incorporating the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies into every IT refresh.

At the end of its latest three-year refresh, Hewlett-Packard has become the poster child for how it's done.

The company announced yesterday that it had completed an audacious revamp of its global IT platform, and the results show what is possible when a business is willing to work from the ground up.

HP expects to save $1 billion per year on its global IT costs, shaving total spending from about 4 percent of its annual revenue to below 2 percent. The company made it happen in part through consolidating its network of data centers dramatically: from over 85 internal-use facilities around the globe three years ago, HP now has just six state-of-the-art data centers in three locations. This scale of consolidation will cut HP's total energy consumption in its data centers by 60 percent, even while its overall computing capability will grow by 250 percent or more.

Although the total dollar saved by this kind of IT overhaul may be rare in the corporate world, any business with an IT budget can find some savings at hand. To that end, HP has been developing a consulting service that can help companies discover where its potential cost-savings may lie.

Launched last year with the company's acquisition of consulting company EYP Mission Critical Facilities, HP has incorporated EYP's work into its own Critical Facilities Services program, which helps companies overhaul their own data center facilities to see some of the same results as HP's own refresh.

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