Whether it’s for TechZone360, Cloud Computing, MSP Today, IoT Evolution World or for other sites, I’ve covered many a story rooted in tech. Over time, dozens of these stories have touched on reports and surveys conducted by standard-setting businesses across industries. Such stories highlight up-to-date statistics regarding cybersecurity, polls on hybrid workforce preparedness and sentiments overall, implications of both tech talent acquisitions and layoffs alike, etc.
That all said, it’s key to remember that percentages and statistics listed in coverage like I’ve described aren’t just numbers with % signs attached. The respondents detailed in those reports and surveys are real people; whether they’re in offices, on factory floors, out in the field or elsewhere, real people are working hard and are affected by shifts in specific technologies, by industry shake-ups, and by real-world happenings overall.
Thus, for today’s coverage, we’ll take a look at not just the raw data at face value, but also at the real professionals involved, effects felt and tolls taken, and the actions these people are taking in their respective roles.
Let’s start with a new report conducted by B2B and B2C market research and advisory company Savanta, commissioned by global connectivity solutions provider Arelion. At Arelion, their goal is to keep the world connected and how, quote, “customers across 125 countries rely on [Arelion’s] enterprise-grade and highly ranked global Internet backbone for their premium data and voice services.” Arelion’s recently released report shows the significance of escalating energy prices and the concerns it is causing among business leaders.
This study, titled “The Energy Crisis: Is it Hurting Enterprise Networks” explores effects that the energy crises has had on network operations and network professionals, as well as on the wider network sustainability agenda. (The report was conducted in the U.S., as well as in the U.K., France and Germany.)
Baseline cost-related statistics showed the following:
- 82% of leaders cited that increased energy costs have had a medium or a high impact on how they price their services.
- 69%, as a result, have raised their prices, passing on increased costs to customers as energy dynamics have shifted.
- On the other hand, 18% of leading decision-makers have actually reduced prices, potentially absorbing the extra costs in order to maintain competitiveness as the industry’s challenges evolve.
That covers our base for dollar signs, which are of course significant. No question. Now, let’s pay due attention to what this story started with, a.k.a. how the respondents have been feeling amidst energy crisis woes:
- 53% cited the escalating energy prices (and the subsequent impacts on network operations) as their primary concern. 43% reported anxiety about energy supply shortages, but didn’t categorize as their biggest worry.
- 35% of leaders are looking even further ahead and are more worried about the crisis’s ongoing impacts for 2024-2028. And though, per Arelion, this seems to be most evident in the banking industry, it is affecting several other industry sectors.
- A huge, not-to-be-overlooked takeaway is that a whopping 50% (i.e. not nearly the highest percentage listed so far, but still “whopping” for what this entails) have become so apprehensive about this crisis’s continued effects on business operations that it has reportedly impacted their personal lives in major ways. 14% globally spoke about suffering sleepless nights it has caused. (29% in the U.S. were, or are still, in the throes of insomnia.)
That’s why these numbers aren’t just digits on your screen or statistics buried beneath the twenty-some-odd tech articles readers may browse today. Real people have voiced what is affecting them. More action should be taken to remedy this.
Thankfully, despite negative implications, the energy crisis has prompted at least 61% of businesses to increase investments in network operations to improve energy efficiency. (i.e. this is one of those benefits that is indeed beneficial, but the how-we-got-there of it perhaps is less enthusing)
Additionally, 52% of companies have accelerated and even strengthened their network sustainability efforts. U.S. businesses, in spite of wavering mental and emotional health, seem to be leading the way in this regard, with 65% of U.S. decision-makers saying they are boosting their sustainability initiatives.
Even more environmentally-focused (when it comes to sustainable energy sources for powering network operations), Forty percent of respondents believe that clean, renewable solar power has the greatest potential. However, in France, 51% of leaders see nuclear power as having the most potential, instead. (This could reflect the country's long history of investment in nuclear power production and its cultural pro-nuclear acceptance.)
Mattias Fridström, Chief Evangelist at Arelion, took a moment to provide comments on the survey results.
“The business impacts of network energy consumption vary across industry verticals and, as we’ve seen, are ultimately far greater for businesses whose networks are valued as a significant part of their operational expenditure,” Fridström said. “This research has provided valuable insights into the impact on the industry and those working within it. Network operators are particularly vulnerable to a volatile energy market. As a large global network operator ourselves, we too are challenged by these increasing costs, and these challenges require solutions.”
"What's clear,” Fridström continued, “is that the transitioning towards more sustainable networks have hastened as a result of the energy crisis. Investments in power efficiency are shortening the upgrade cycle for network infrastructure, which will ideally go on to improve experiences."
The situation is still ongoing, so there’s no one clean way to wrap up this story. One fact weighs heavy, though: Investments in sustainability are instrumental, but so are how we invest in our people so they can continue performing their best.
Edited by Greg Tavarez