More Awareness Than Action



Though all eight technology areas covered in a recent AFCOM survey are important to IT management, two are particularly interesting: green IT and cyber-terrorism. (Read the "2009/2010 AFCOM Data Center Trends Survey" at http://afcom.com/files/PDF/AFCOM_2009-2010_Data_Center_Trends_Survey_Results_Analysis_-_FINAL.pdf)

When AFCOM, an association for data center professionals, surveyed 436 of its members about their green initiatives, an encouraging 71 percent said they are "actively engaged" in such projects, but only 42 percent have a "formal" initiative in place. That's disappointing, but not surprising when you consider the obstacles IT managers face when they try to implement environmentally friendly technologies and processes.

Slightly more than 39 percent of the survey respondents said they don't have enough money to buy more efficient technologies, and 30 percent blamed procrastination for slowing down progress. Another 23 percent said they can't get a commitment from their senior management (inexcusable!), and 20 percent said the problem was "the lack of a clear definition of greening."

In terms of results, 61 percent said they are using less power as a result of their green projects. Fifty-one percent said they have implemented cooling efficiency strategies, according to the report, and close to 12 percent reported "significant savings" in water usage.

Surprisingly, the reports states that government agencies are "less environmentally conscious" than their peers in the private sector. While 72 percent of data centers in the private sector "are actively engaged" in greening initiatives, only 62 percent of government data centers are. The report states that "government agencies are somehow reluctant to fully engage in an area we would expect them to champion."

Cyber-terrorism is another area is which there is more awareness than action. According to the survey, approximately 61 percent of all data centers worldwide "officially recognize cyber-terrorism as a threat they need to deal with." What are the other 39 percent thinking? That they will somehow be protected against cyber-threats?

As if that's not bad enough, only about 34 percent have included cyber-terrorism in their disaster recovery plans, only 25 percent have dealt with it in their policies and procedures manuals, and only 20 percent have provided training for employees.

These are shocking statistics. Even in these tough economic times, it's hard to understand how companies can be so negligent in this area. It's a very dangerous example of a stick-your-head-in-the-sand approach to security--one these organizations may come to regret.

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