From recycling to water conservation and solar panels, the Green Movement touches many aspects of our lives. For small to medium businesses (SMB), going green often begins in the computer room. Not only is it environmentally responsible, but green computing makes good business sense.
In basic terms, green computing involves reducing the environmental impact of technology. That means using less energy, reducing waste, and promoting sustainability. Green computing reduces the carbon footprint of a business and provides a reputation boost. From a budget perspective, eco-friendly computing can reduce energy and operational costs more than 30%.
Three business practices that help both the environment and the bottom line include choosing energy-efficient systems, moving to the cloud and facilitating telecommuting.
1 – Reduce Costs with Energy-efficient Systems
Going green starts with smart purchasing and usage practices. Because IT accounts for a disproportionate amount of the total energy consumption of a typical business, energy-efficient computing directly impacts the bottom line.
Keep in mind a few essential tips:
- Energy certification – Purchase devices that are Energy Star and EPEAT certified.
- Power management options – Make sure devices come with power management options enabled. Sleep mode significantly reduces energy usage. Using hibernation mode or turning the hardware off ensures that the system consumes no power.
- Protect against malware – Online threats often consume heavy processing resources, increasing the power used by your computer, even before you become aware of the problem. Invest in proven anti-malware services.
- Recycling programs – At the end of device life, take advantage of recycling programs like those sponsored by both Microsoft and HP.
- Virtualization – Reduce operating costs and improve server utilization with virtualized servers.
2 – Sustain Profits and the Environment with Cloud Computing
For small businesses, maintaining a full IT solution in-house incurs significant cost, from personnel to servers and system maintenance. Servers alone consume large amounts of energy and often operate far below capacity.
Migrating to cloud computing often allows organizations to reduce both budget and power usage. Without the need to maintain costly server rooms, companies can focus their resources more effectively. In addition, the scalable nature of cloud computing allows organizations flexibility in designing a solution to expand with company growth.
3 – Reduce Stress and Your Carbon Footprint with Telecommuting
Telecommuting offers many business benefits, from increased employee satisfaction to reduced overhead. Employees who telecommute spend less time flying and driving to work, directly reducing carbon emissions.
At the same time, the deep integration of Microsoft chat and video-conferencing features, Office 365 applications, and Microsoft Cloud storage solutions allows employees to collaborate from multiple locations with ease.
Get Started on Green Computing
With so many options available, determining the most effective solution for your organization presents a challenge for non-technical personnel. Adopting green computing practices that will move your business forward requires an assessment to identify opportunities and build a strong business case.
Whether you choose to keep operations in-house or to outsource your IT, a dedicated and capable managed services provider can help you meet your green computing goals. With expert assistance, you quickly implement the best green solutions for your organization and improve business processes while helping the environment.