How to Reduce the Cost and Environmental Footprint of Your IT Equipment?

IT Equipment

For some companies, particularly those from the service sector, the management of IT equipment can represent a significant cost, both in terms of purchase and use (energy consumption, maintenance, etc.) and after a few years of use, their disposal becomes a source of pollution (despite the obligation to recycle IT equipment, all equipment has a certain proportion of non-recyclable components [01]). However, there is a solution that can address these issues in order to reduce their impacts: application virtualization.

Reduce the Energy Consumption of Your IT Equipment

One of the advantages of application virtualization is that it allows the employees of an organization to use thin clients rather than energy-consuming, thick clients. As a comparison, a 2015 study on the energy consumption of IT equipment in the workplace, jointly conducted by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency) [02], compared, in an industrial company, the average consumption of a desktop with a thin client device. It seems that a thin client consumes almost half as much electricity as a desktop (60 kWh/year compared to 116 kWh/year for desktops). But for an exhaustive comparison, it is necessary, in the case of thin clients, to take into account the servers on which the operating system is remote, as well as the server room (air conditioning, etc.). Once these various elements are taken into account, the average consumption of a thin client is 86 kWh/year, 26% less than a desktop.

This lower energy consumption is beneficial from both an environmental and an economic point of view, since it reduces the cost of the electricity bill for the IT equipment of an organization. This cost is not insignificant since the IT equipment represents about a quarter of the total electricity consumption of a service company.

Increase the Lifetime of Your IT Equipment

Another advantage of application virtualization is the reduced replacement of hardware, made possible by the use of thin clients. They have a longer service life than traditional machines, which helps to limit the volume of electronic waste.

Financially, it is also beneficial for organizations since, in addition to a lower acquisition cost, the longer lifetime of a thin client base will allow the organization to benefit from much lower annual depreciation of IT equipment than for a thick client base.

Centralize the Management of Your IT Equipment

Application virtualization also allows to centralize and therefore simplify the management of all workstations. This enables the IT department to provide users with new applications or updates by installing them only once on the reference machine. On traditional workstations, updates tend to be pushed to users who then have to click on the relevant application to perform the update, which can sometimes cause problems that subsequently generate requests to the IT department. With a virtualization solution, the update is managed on the application servers, which allows the IT department to ensure an optimal update. This process is totally transparent for users.

This centralized management is particularly beneficial for organizations because it allows the IT department to free up time. They can then concentrate on tasks with high added value (vs Helpdesk) and it is all the more profitable for organizations outsourcing the maintenance of their IT equipment, since they will use their IT provider less.

To further reduce the cost and environmental footprint of IT assets, Systancia Workplace Secure Cloud Terminal integrates advanced functionalities in terms of planning the switching on and off of thin clients and carbon footprint measurement for the Systancia Workplace Secure Cloud Terminal assets. This way, organizations can better control their energy consumption.


[01] Recycle your IT equipment

[02] White Paper: Energy consumption of IT equipment at the workplace