Like many companies Aviva faced a dilemma between turning PCs off to save electricity and emissions and needing them on to apply patches, which generally has to be done after work hours to keep disruption to a minimum.
“We had two competing legitimate policies regarding switching off PCs,” explained Goddard. “From an energy perspective, there was, and indeed still is, a requirement to switch off all equipment when not in use. However there was also an IT need to have computers on at least part of the night so that upgrades could be applied.”
Aviva initially trialled NightWatchman on 856 PCs in its UK office. Data was collected over a period of one week and revealed a number of interesting stats. 60% of desktop PCs and 18% of laptops were being left on overnight. On weekends, 57% of desktops and 30% of monitors were being left on, but only 7% were actually being used.
“The number of laptops left on overnight was a particular surprise as we would have expected laptops by virtue of being portable to be removed from desks overnight and at weekends,” Goddard explained.
Once the trial had been deemed successful Aviva proceeded with a rollout across 30,000 PCs in the UK. While the exact cost savings will vary with electricity tariffs, the company has been able to forecast other savings from using the software. This includes projected savings of 7,706,610 kWh of electricity per year across 30,000 PCs and equivalent emissions reduction of 4,138 metric tonnes of CO2.