Power Management Software: 5 Myths Debunked For Procurement Managers

As an IT procurement manager, you must balance the needs of your organization against budgetary restrictions, so it's important to understand the possible return on investment in new types of software. Power management software is a way that American companies can cut down on the money they spend on energy, but you may not understand all the possible benefits. Make the right buying decision about power management software for your business, and understand the facts behind some of the most common myths.

You don't need to get the software - a screen saver will do

Some procurement managers mistakenly believe that computer hardware generally has enough built-in features to negate the need for power management software. In fact, some of the tools that computer manufacturers offer as standard don't generally help cut energy bills, especially screen savers.

For example, screen savers don't save energy. In fact, a PC with a screen saver can still use more than 100 watts of power, while the same computer would only use a tenth of that in sleep mode. A screen saver can stop people in the office seeing confidential data, but these tools offer no energy saving benefits. To see real benefits, you need a tool like power management software that properly manages energy consumption across your IT estate.

The possible savings are not significant enough to justify the investment

Some procurement managers may believe that the amount of energy that IT systems waste is relatively small in comparison to other costs in the business. Surely, if everybody in the office is using their PC during the day and turns the machine off at night the energy wasted is relatively small?

In fact, it's easy to underestimate how wasteful the average IT system is. One American bank implemented power management software that simply turned off monitors during the working day after 20 inactive minutes and put PCs into standby mode after 30 minutes of inactivity. After office hours, the software powered down all machines. The bank saved an estimated $3 million in the first year alone as a direct result of this software implementation.

Power management software is an expensive investment

To encourage more energy-efficient working practices, many utilities offer incentives to businesses that install power management software. Rebates often include a cash incentive for each computer installation or license, and you can sometimes even claim a rebate that meets 100 percent of the installation cost. In this case, you only need to consider the cost of IT and project management implementation resources. Further details are available on the government's ENERGY STAR website.

Power management software will incur significant support costs

Power management software rarely needs significant ongoing maintenance and support. Vendors aim to offer products that you can quickly and effortlessly install, with minimal maintenance work thereafter. When incorporated into a company's enterprise IT system, power management software does not normally incur any significant ongoing support cost.

This type of software can interfere with end users

There is sometimes a perception that power management software can interfere with end users' work. For example, you may worry that the software will simply turn off a computer when someone is using it, which, in turn, will force users to interfere with the software settings. If this happens, you would fail to realize the benefits of the investment.

In fact, users will not generally even notice the power management software on their machines. During working hours, you can choose a reasonable time period before the software puts a machine into standby mode, and as long as the computer is active, the software will remain dormant. Power management software updates will normally also take place automatically outside working hours, meaning that few (if any) employees experience any issues with their machines.

Power management software can enable significant energy cost savings for your business. Talk to a specialist vendor like Shavlik for more information and advice.