Business intelligence through patinformatics: A study of energy efficient data centres using patent data

Nishad Deshpande, Shabib Ahmeda, Alok Khodea


The advent of cloud computing has nurtured an unprecedented growth of data
centres. With its growth, the main concern for service providers and data centre owners is to
efficiently manage the energy of the data centres without compromising their computing
capabilities. This concern is genuine as data centres utilise 10-30 times more energy than
office spaces and also generate immense heat. As cooling accounts for half of the total power
consumption in data centres, efficient cooling systems have become a vital need for data
centres. This has resulted in increased research and innovation in the field of efficient cooling
of data centres, which in turn has led to growth in filing of patents in this domain. Patents are
techno-legal documents that contain different kinds of information that is accessible to all. In
the present study, patents are used as source of information for competitive/business
intelligence to highlight the technological trends in the field of energy efficient cooling of data
centres. The study reveals that IBM, HP, Schneider and Hon Hai Industries are the major
players working in this technological area. Contrary to the notion that air conditioning would
be the most researched area for cooling data centres, the study reveals that there is also
interest in the hardware of the servers and racks to produce less heat or to have built-in
cooling mechanisms. The main technologies for which patents are being filed include
ventilation using gaseous coolant, technologies related to rack design as well as liquid cooling.
Original equipment manufacturers and other vendors have increased filings, along with cloud
service providers. Most of these technologies originate from Asia-Pacific and this region is a
strong market, following the USA.


Cooling, data centres, energy efficiency, green data centres, patents, patinformatics

Full Text:



Ahmed, S., Khode, A., Arya, R., & Hirwani, R.

(2013). Understanding Patent Mining using

Analysis of the Samsung Patent Portfolio as a

Case Study. In proceedings of International

Conference on Bridging-The Gap between

Management Strategies and Execution.

Pune:NCDM 2013, 45-47.

Azoff, M., & Charlesworth, I. (2004). The new

business intelligence. A European Perspective,

Butler Group, White Paper.

Beloglazov, A., & Buyya, R. (2010). Energy

efficient allocation of virtual machines in

cloud data centers. In Cluster, Cloud and Grid

Computing (CCGrid). Melbourne: IEEE/ACM

International Conference, 577-578.

Beloglazov, A., Buyya, R., Lee, Y. C., & Zomaya

A. (2011). A taxonomy and survey of energyefficient

data centers and cloud computing

systems. Advances in computers, 82(2), 47-

Brown, R. (2008). Report to congress on server

and data center energy efficiency: Public law

-431. Lawrence Berkeley National


Caldow, J. (2008). The greening of government: A

study of how governments define the green agenda. Institute for Electronic Government,

IBM Corporation.

Calof, J.L. & Viviers, W. (2001). Adding

competitive intelligence to South Africa’s

knowledge management mix. Africa Insight

(2): 61-67.

Columbus, L. (2015). Roundup Of Cloud

Computing Forecasts And Market Estimates,




Daim, T., Justice, J., Krampits, M., Letts, M.,

Subramanian, G., & Thirumalai, M. (2009).

Data center metrics: An energy efficiency

model for information technology managers.

Management of Environmental Quality: An

International Journal, 20(6), 712-731.

Deshpande, N., Ahmed, S., & Khode A. 2014.

Web Based Targeted Advertising: A Study

Based on Patent Information. Procedia

Economics and Finance, 11, 522-535.

Ditter, D., Henselmann, K., & Scherr, E. (2011).

Using XBRL technology to extract competitive

information from financial statements.

Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business,


Dou, H., Leveillé, V., Manullang, S., & Dou Jr, J.

M. (2005). Patent analysis for competitive

technical intelligence and innovative

thinking. Data science journal, 4, 209-236.

Du Toit, A. S. (2015). Competitive intelligence

research: An investigation of trends in the

literature. Journal of Intelligence Studies in

Business, 5(2).

Emma (2008). Data Centers Need to Promote

Green IT, Gartner Says. Available online on



European Patent Office (2016). Cooperative

Patent Classification (CPC).


European Patent Office (2016). Patent families.



Gabriel, J.M.O. & Adiele, K.C. (2012).

Competitive Intelligence as panacea for

environmental vagaries in Nigeria. Economic

Journal of A 2 Z 1(1): 25-30.

Gartner (2016). Gartner Says Worldwide Server

Revenue Declined 2.3 Percent in the First

Quarter of 2016, While Shipments Increased



Ghoshal, S., & Kim, S. K. (1986). Building

effective intelligence systems for competitive

advantage. Sloan Management Review (1986-

, 28(1), 49.

Grandjean, N., Charpiot, B., Pena, C. A., &

Peitsch, M. C. (2005). Competitive intelligence

and patent analysis in drug discovery: Mining

the competitive knowledge bases and patents.

Drug Discovery Today: Technologies, 2(3), 211-

Hawkin, J.M. (2015). 2016: The Year of The Data

Center. Data Center Knowledge.


International Data Corporation (2016).

Worldwide Server Market Revenues Increase

2% in the Fourth Quarter as Demand in

China Once Again Drives the Market Forward,

According to IDC.


Jones Lang LaSalle (2016). Data Center Outlook

Strong Demand, Smart Growth. Available

online on URL:


Judge, P. (2015). Global Forecast bright for the

Data Center Construction Market.




Kahaner, L. (1998). Competitive Intelligence:

How to Gather, Analyse and Use Information

to Move Your Business to the Top. Touchstone,

New York.

Kepes, B. (2015). An Intriguing Prospect: Amazon

Acquiring Forbes.



Lönnqvist, A., & Pirttimäki, V. (2006). The

measurement of business intelligence.

Information systems management, 23(1), 32

Pulate, M. P., Deshpande, N. A., & Hirwani R. R.

(2015). Implementation of Dice coefficient to

identify target for IP asset licensing.

International Journal of Intellectual Property

Management, 8(3-4), 135-146.

Rouach, D., & Santi, P. (2001). Competitive

Intelligence Adds Value: Five Intelligence

Attitudes. European management journal,

(5), 552-559.

Shih, M. J., Liu, D. R., & Hsu M. L. (2010).

Discovering competitive intelligence by

mining changes in patent trends. Expert

Systems with Applications, 37(4), 2882-2890.

Shuja, J., Madani, S. A., Bilal, K., Hayat, K.,

Khan, S. U., & Sarwar S. 2012. Energyefficient

data centers. Computing, 94(12), 973-

Solberg Søilen, K (2010). Boosting innovation and

knowledge through delocalization: market

intelligence at trade shows. Problems and

Perspectives in Management, 8(3), 200-207

Uddin, M., & Rahman A. A. (2010). Server

consolidation: An approach to make data

centers energy efficient and green. arXiv

preprint arXiv:1010.5037.

UK Intellectual Property Office (2014). Eight

Great Technologies: The Internet of Things - A

patent overview. Available online on URL:



Viviers, W., Saayman, A. & Muller, M.L. (2005).

Enhancing a competitive intelligence culture

in South Africa. International Journal of

Social Economics 32(7): 576-589

Walker, T. D. (1994). The literature of

competitive intelligence. Library trends, 43(2),


Weinberger, M. (2015). The cloud wars explained:

Why nobody can catch up with Amazon.



WIPO (2016). International Patent Classification

(IPC) version 2016. Available online on URL:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

JISIB is indexed by ESCI, SCOPUS, EBSCO, DOAJ, Google Scholar, EconBib and SCImago, and is ranked as a Level 1 publication by the Norwegian Social Science Data Services. JISIB has applied for admittance to Web of Science.