1E first developed an energy-saving solution called NightWatchman eight years ago. “We wrote it because we sold another technology that made sure PCs were on before users came into the office,” Karayi says. “We wrote it with a large monetary institution in mind and what we found was we could save this organisation about $4m per annum in energy costs if we could switch off machines when they weren’t in use.”
However, Karayi says the software didn’t sell for the first six years. Part of the reason was a lack of interest in saving energy but a US study showed it was also down to chief information officers not having responsibility for paying energy bills. “They didn’t know how much they were paying. Clearly IT wasn’t incentivised in reducing energy costs,” Karayi adds.
The environmental implications for adopting the technology are just as compelling. Research conducted later by 1E has revealed if 18 per cent of the UK’s PCs were turned off when they weren’t in use, 10 per cent of the government’s climate change levy target could be achieved. Karayi says that would result in £117m in savings.
1E is now trying to educate CIOs about energy savings. “This isn’t top of their agenda,” Karayi says. “I think what’s happened as well is a lot of the CIOs aren’t as aligned to the business and to the main board as they’d probably like to be. They don’t’ see the imperative of the main board in terms of getting PR through green initiatives. We are doing a lot of education in this space. We’re showing them they can get a return on investment of three to six months.”