What is your perception of green data storage?

Green data storage means different things to different companies. By finding out what green data storage means to your potential customer, you can better meet their storage needs.

What is your perception of green storage?
This one is key, because if you ask a customer what their green data storage challenges and issues are or if they're going to spend money on "green," you may get an answer that you don't want to hear. So it's important to understand what their perception of green data storage is. Is it about reducing carbon footprints? Is green about saving money? Or is it about being able to sustain the business? By understanding your customer's perception of being green, you're going to be able to relate to them and communicate with them. Understanding the customer's perception will help you avoid hearing their response as a lack of opportunity.

About the author
Greg Schulz is founder of the StorageIO Group and author of the books Resilient Storage Networks: Designing Flexible Scalable Data Infrastructures (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center: Strategies for enabling environmental and economically friendly Next Generation Data (Auerbach). Learn more at www.thegreenandvirtualdatacenter.com.

For instance, if you ask a customer whether they have any green data storage initiative and whether they're going to be spending any money on green, you may get the answer, "No, not this year." Instead of packing up your bag and moving onto the next customer, change your tack. Ask the customer if they are spending any money to address power, cooling, floor space, environmental health or safety, e-waste or any other related issues. The customer may then respond by telling you that they will be spending to improve energy efficiency, boost performance, reduce cost, and to enable the business to grow.

That is what is referred to as the "green gap."

This was first published in September 2008

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