Once considered something only “green” businesses spoke of, today ‘energy management’ has become more than a buzzword or corporate tick box for businesses across Europe. In a recent Colt report – ‘The Four Forces of Data Centre Disruption’ – it showed that it is in fact a ‘disruptive force’ that must be factored in the general business strategy. Energy management is one of the four significant forces impacting CIO’s decision making, planning and responsiveness in the data centre. With the cost of energy rising, the pressure is on to reduce consumption effectively and still increase data centre capacity. For example, our report showed that 67% of IT decision makers see energy management as important in achieving IT cost benchmarks. It’s clear the ‘energy economy’ is changing and it’s influencing strategic decision-making. Technology teams are the leading edge of these changes and it’s up to them to minimise the disruptive force. Eurostat released figures which showed that exponential data consumption by the enterprise increases energy use, and there has been a year-on-year increase for industrial electricity cost of 5.2%. (Source: Eurostat EUR IND per kWh 2007-2012)You might be reading this thinking; so what can we, as the IT department, do to balance this force? The key is to be flexible in your decision-making and have an awareness of the different options available. That means bringing together a wide range of decision-makers within the business – finance, CSR, technology, and the C-suite – working together to bring the best out of the situation. With IT moving more into the ‘energy strategy’ realm, rather than just a business function, energy management needs to become a prime focus for 2014. A successful energy management strategy will need to encompass corporate risk, from location and regulatory, through to basic financial considerations such as currency risk. Luckily, advances in technologies offer some great alternatives to reducing energy.The CIO’s circle of stakeholders will continue to widen in 2014, and they need to communicate the value of technology in terms of reputation, finance and risk-reduction for the business. This is the year where the CIO’s must demonstrate that “green” thinking really means “strategic” thinking. To learn more about how to create a successful energy management strategy you can download a new Colt article, ‘Energy Management: No longer just a “Green” issue‘, read our report ‘The Four Forces of Data Centre Disruption’ or look at this summary infographic on flickr. We would also welcome your thoughts and experiences of energy management – is it part of your strategic thinking for 2014?