What Customers Look For In A Green ICT Facility

We're increasingly seeing data centers promote, and customers respond to, Green ICT features. Here are some customer perspectives and the results of a industry survey that reveals geographical differences.

First, let's take a look at three customers of Verne Global's "carbon neutral data centre campus" in Iceland.

Game developer CCP focused on the benefits of "the site's 100% dual sourced renewable power grid. "Being able to select a green data centre for our corporate hosting needs is a key benefit to CCP Games…However, the primary reasons for selecting Verne Global above all other alternative sites were the availability and predictability of power and the option of securing long-term price guarantees at attractive price levels."

Green public cloud company GreenQloud sees pass-through benefits to its customers. "We will also let our customers see their live energy metrics and carbon savings so they can report these results as part of their own sustainability programmes."

Information delivery platform provider Colt finds value in both Verne Global's location and renewable resources. “Given its location and abundance of natural resources for renewable energy, Iceland is expected to become the new epicentre for business between the USA and mainland Europe…" More perspective from Colt.

The insight from these customer comments is that ICT facilities looking to 'Sell Green' have to communicate a number of specific benefits to appeal to a spectrum of customer needs and motivations. For example, an Equinix data center which reuses waste heat cites regulatory compliance and reduced costs on its AM3 data center website. "Environmental legislation is becoming more stringent while energy costs are rising, compelling customers to attach more and more importance to sustainability."

A April 2012 survey by cloud hosting provider Rackspace reveals the georgraphical distribution of green preferences. "When 'Two Choices Were Equal,' 54% of customers felt that “Greener was Better” — in essence a tie breaker that put one over another. Only 2% separated the U.S. (55%) from the rest of the world on this question (53%). When 'Two Choices Were NOT Equal,' 20% of customers would choose the greener option, signaling that there is tangible value to the reduced risk, higher performance and higher efficiency among service providers who embrace sustainability that drives the customer’s selection of partners. The International community felt more strongly here (27%) than the U.S. (17%)."

More:
Value proposition of Capgemini's Merlin data center
BMW on the value of moving engineering applications to a green data center
Customer response to Akamai's Green ICT initatives