The environmental impact businesses and free enterprise can have on the environment can be staggering. The world at large is increasing their awareness of such issues and it’s become very wise to create sustainable business practices. The role that technology is beginning to play in creating a sustainable business and harvesting social responsibility is larger than ever.
Many business processes have become very outdated and have been replaced by better, more sustainable, techniques. Changing to a new way of doing things can be a rocky road and many businesses are hesitant to uproot their proven methods to adopt something new. Change is hard and can cost time and money; two things businesses don’t have much of these days. But believe me, changing to more sustainable business practices can save money and make business more efficient over the long haul. This is not a trend which anyone predicts will be going away anytime soon.
Let’s explore five ways technology can make doing business more sustainable.
Over the past few years we’ve seen an increase in mobile technology which has transformed business operations. Being able to work anywhere or anytime and connect to the resources of an enterprise eliminates a lot of waste. Reducing paper, travel, large offices, and similar costs all make businesses more sustainable. Smartphones, tablets and ultra-thin laptops are all giving employees and business people mobile access to highly productive work schedules. There is a downside however; you can’t REALLY ever leave the office.
There is no question that data centers require huge amounts of resources to sustain themselves. As businesses grow from startups to large enterprises creating sustainable and green data centers is at the forefront of sustainable business models. This month, October 2012, the green data center conference comes to Silicon Valley. Innovations in the renewable energy, cooling operations, and green equipment/design is on the agenda and the biggest businesses in the world are taking note. The newest servers are as energy efficient as possible. In a world of squeezing resources businesses should adopt sustainable green data center practices. This may mean expensive upgrades now. Or think about dumping your data center and outsourcing it.
Fifteen years ago there was a surge in excitement for telemedicine. Unfortunately it was held back because of both the real and perceived lack of bandwidth an HD video capabilities. Today that problem is going away with wonderfully capable cameras, screens and bandwidth which make virtual meetings (and even telemedicine) very doable. For many, it’s easier to skip the commute and attend meetings virtually. This can bring employees and customers together in a very efficient way. With high quality AV software you get a face-to-face feeling even if your not in the room. Many businesses are allowing employees leniency when it comes to attending all meetings in person. Even employees in the office can skip sitting in a meeting and attend from their desk. These small practices create more sustainable businesses.
Sustainable businesses must cut down paper usage. Electronic bills, payments, and even paperless contracts eliminates the cost of post, paper, and transportation. It has been estimated that it costs about $5-$15 to have a contract signed and returned by mail. These costs are greatly reduced by going paperless. Similarly paying for services or fees online cuts down a lot of waste. This is especially sustainable for enterprises with high volume bills.
Keeping IT within the business can become extremely wasteful and cumbersome for almost any enterprise. Companies specializing in IT support in the cloud have vastly larger resources then small and mid sized businesses. Many of these companies employee green solutions to reduce network equipment and reduce the electrical need to supply necessary telecommunications for companies. To create a truly sustainable business many experts agree that using the cloud for IT support is necessary. The cloud has been with us for a number of years, but it’s still in its infancy in regards to widespread use for mainstream businesses. That however is rapidly changing. Trimming the fat off business when it comes to supplying your own IT makes almost any enterprise much more sustainable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Delgado is a freelance writer for koyotesoft.com. KoyoteSoft offers you easy-to-use free software downloads for all your audio and video needs, including, but not limited to ISO burners.