Going Paperless: A Guide to Green IT
The green IT trend is about more than just saving the environment — it can help reduce costs, improve your company image, and provide better data security.
Green IT is an umbrella term that refers to the conscientious effort to bring environmentally-friendly technology into the workplace. It encourages companies to reduce power consumption, limit paper waste, and use more cloud-based services and applications.
The green IT trend has gained traction over the past few years, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. According to a recent study, 25 percent of US companies are making changes in their day-to-day operations to become more sustainable, especially when it comes to bringing in new, eco-friendly technologies.
These initiatives are already making a difference. To use a popular company as an example, McDonald’s recently started using energy-efficient appliances in their new green IT initiative. Since they updated their equipment, McDonald’s has cut its energy waste by nearly 25 percent during operating hours.
But you don’t have to be a massive global company like McDonald’s to go green. Whether you’re a large enterprise or a medium-sized company, there’s a lot to gain from going green — and there are many different ways you can approach it. Here’s what you need to know:
Benefits of a Green Office
1. Cost Savings
Implementing an eco-friendly IT department isn’t just about saving the planet — it’s good for your bottom line. Because green initiatives encourage companies to limit equipment, energy, and paper use, small savings can add up quickly. For example, experts predict that most companies spend over $80 per employee on paper annually. Even small savings like this can add up fast when applied to all of your employees in a paperless office.
Along with the daily savings on supplies like ink and paper, green initiatives often come with tax breaks and other financial incentives. You can contact the U.S. Department of Energy and access their search tool to find tax credits and rebates that apply to your company. You can even use a paperless initiative as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report to save even more money.
2. Company Perception
Many consumers prefer working with companies that make a concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, some surveys show that 53 percent of consumers would rather work with or buy from an eco-friendly company.
What’s more, green initiatives can have a positive effect on how employees feel about their jobs. According to a survey by the Green Business Bureau, nearly 96 percent of employees report that a workplace sustainability program would improve their relationship with their employer, and 79 percent of those surveyed reported that they would prefer to work for a company that has strong environmental policies. Whether you’re looking to gain new customers or retain employees, going green can be an effective strategy.
3. Improved Security
Green IT isn’t all just PR and dollar signs — it’s considerably safer to have your sensitive data stored digitally than spreading important physical documents throughout file cabinets in an office.
For one, data tampering is far more likely to occur when dealing with paper documents. Anyone that has access to a paper record can easily remove pages or edit entries without raising suspicion, whereas most electronic documents allow users to refer to a digital history that tracks when edits are made and by who.
In addition, because paper files are moved around throughout the day, they are much more likely to get lost or misfiled. Digital documents, on the other hand, stay put in the cloud or a hard drive, and can easily be searched for if misfiled.
How to Go Green
Overall, going paperless is a practice that can benefit your company in a number of ways, not all of which have to do with the environment. But the reality is that implementing an eco-friendly system at work requires a lot of work from IT departments. Some steps are simpler than others — for example, reducing energy by turning off computers and lights, recycling paper more often, and working with eco-friendly utility suppliers.
But when it comes to the more complex facets, such as migrating to the cloud, purchasing and installing new hardware, and updating data centers to be more energy efficient — you may need expert IT support. Especially with the current IT skills shortage, IT departments may lack the resources to make big changes while also executing standard responsibilities. Luckily, Turn-key Technologies, Inc. (TTI) is here to help.
With nearly thirty years of experience in enterprise IT support, the experts at TTI can help your organization go paperless. Whether you are driven by cost savings or simply want to improve data security, TTI’s managed services can help you develop a green IT initiative that suits your business goals.