We’re all familiar with the old-fashioned English idiom ‘penny wise, pound foolish.’ And then there’s its contemporary counterpart, ‘spend more to save more.’ But which one applies to your business IT? Given the current cost of living crisis accompanied by spiralling energy bills, you’d probably best spend a little upfront to save a lot in the long run. Statista has projected that between the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the end of 2023, companies across the world would have spent $6.8 trillion on digital transformation. Implemented successfully, digital transformation by way of investment in IT, can streamline your operations and ease the burden of energy prices that have literally gone through the roof.


As the owner or CEO of an SME, you can’t escape the reality of an IT budget, and neither can you avoid buying hardware such as workstations, phones, and printers to keep your employees happy. But those aren’t the real culprits when it comes down to energy consumption in the office. Our digital world costs a fortune to run and estimates reveal that in 2020 data centres, with their millions of servers, consume 2% of the world’s electricity demand. While it’s highly unlikely that you would need your own data centre, you may operate onsite servers. Those are the energy hogs and also represent a substantial investment. Check out these numbers:

  • An entry-level server will set you back at least £750, excluding warranty while those at the high-end cost £3,500 plus.
  • A UPS to ensure that your server is not damaged by power blips starts at £200 and, depending on the size and the number of servers you have could cost over £3,000.
  • Servers need to be on 24x7x365. A single, small server using 8 kWh per day can easily cost you £1,400 annually.


Unfortunately, the costs of servers don’t end with capex investment and energy consumption. The temperature in your server room needs to be optimised and a cooling system is one of the most expensive components of any server room or data centre.  Running a 10kW air conditioner costs 38p per hour or £3,328 a year, more than double that of operating a server. Other energy costs include keeping your firewalls and routers alive plus paying for lighting. Besides energy considerations you also need to factor in server maintenance, paying for data backups, server security software, and licenses. Put simply, operating a server can cost you an arm and a leg.


Now back to digital transformation as a solution for your server needs. According to Paul-Noël Guély, Managing Partner of the investment advisory firm, Arma,

“Companies are pivoting away from owning and operating their own servers and infrastructure “on-premise”, and in third-party data centres, toward private virtualised cloud and public cloud from hyperscaler providers. This change is an essential part of the evolution of the digital economy.”

Migrating your business data to the cloud will significantly reduce your energy costs. Cloud providers such as IBM, AWS, Microsoft, and Google have invested in advanced hardware technology and replaced equipment to offer improved performance with reduced power consumption. Besides letting your cloud provider foot the bill for your server energy consumption, you’ll also save a fortune by decommissioning the machines. According to the Uptime Institute:

“Decommissioning a single 1U rack server can result in $500 per year in energy savings, an additional $500 in operating system licenses, and $1,500 in hardware maintenance costs.”

Besides hardware and energy savings, moving to the cloud will help to free up capital as you will pay for services via a monthly subscription and only for what you need.


There’s more to cutting energy costs by investing in IT and leveraging digital transformation. Here are some obvious – but often forgotten – energy-saving tips for your workplace:

  • Implement lost-cost ventilation solutions such as closing doors and windows
  • Enable standby for desktops and laptops and turn off monitors when not in use
  • Activate energy-saving mode/low power mode where possible on printers, copiers, and computers
  • Use LEDs, switch off the lights, and use natural lighting where possible
  • Embrace new technologies like smart meters and energy usage apps


As part of your digital transformation and energy-saving initiative, reach out to me for the best IT investment and cloud strategies. With over 20+ years of experience in professional business IT support and management, I’ll design a cloud solution for your SME and make sure the cloud works on your terms. As a sound example of investment in IT, your cloud solution will be flexible, compatible with your environment and scalable for the future. Contact me today and let’s get the cloud working for you.

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