C.A.D.E. (Corporate Average Data Efficiency) - A Tool for Today's Big Business

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C.A.D.E. - What it is

Chances are you never heard of this before. It’s not even the only option to come out of the “alphabet soup” of common acronyms for those four letters. But what C.A.D.E. really means, in the parlance of today’s energy efficiency debate, is a plan for helping America’s big businesses to keep tabs on their energy use.

According to reporting including an April 2008 Information Week article, C.A.D.E., the product of management consulting firm McKinsey and Company, is a “metric” for corporate governance including a few simple elements: the integration of IT and facilities cost evaluation, and the creation of “energy czar” positions for overall monitoring of a company’s “total” energy use.

Reports suggest that C.A.D.E. was partly created due to specific problems facing larger companies in recent years, including a prominent one resulting from the large amounts of business in any sector that now go on over the internet. Online business results in a lot of interactions over the web, and that means the data centers of big businesses (and even mid-sized ones) are working overtime. Factor in maintenance, climate control, and electricity, and you’re talking cost, both in terms of energy use and dollars.

Getting Specific About C.A.D.E.

According to some, C.A.D.E. measurements can be based on a set of defined equations and variables: for instance, the online KPI Library offers the"thesis equation":


and these two “branch equations”:

FACILITY EFFICIENCY = Facility Energy Efficiency (%) x Facility Utilization (%)

IT ASSET EFFICIENCY = IT Utilization (%) x IT Energy Efficiency (%)

This kind of explication further defines how the metric can be used to take charge of a company’s energy use.

Why C.A.D.E.?

According to some of the analysts offering their expertise over the web, ideas like Corporate Average Data Efficiency were developed just in time to deal with a rising need to control how data flows through the various stations of the world wide web. The abstraction of the internet means that it can be hard to keep tabs on just how much work a server may need to do. Overloaded servers get overheated, and this presents further problems and resources spent to maintain a specific data flow. The bottom line is that companies are trying to use new tools and strategies to be on the forefront of addressing the issue.

For some businesses, energy efficiency may start with principles like C.A.D.E., but it doesn’t end there. These kinds of measurements and monitoring strategies address some of the ways a business can control its costs, but to really make a dramatic transformation to save resources will often require a “greening” of the business model. And that’s something that needs the care, engagement and participation of every head in the board room.