Green Computing IS possible and Good Business

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the furthest from being green that could possibly exist.  If I could install more light bulbs and electrical gizmos in my backyard I would and, yes, I proudly use power tools, especially those that are gas-powered, all the time.

The reality is most “green” solutions out there are a bunch of hype by marketers to make you pay more for their product.  They work half as effectively as their non-green solutions and you end up doing twice as much work.

So why am I talking about green computing being good here?

Well, oddly enough, in some cases there are “green” solutions that do make sense.  They make business sense and end up providing greener answers to common computer issues.

Virtualization of Desktops and Servers

This one is probably the biggest in terms of being a “green” solution.  Virtualization is a technology that has been around for ages but only recently has it really started to come to a stage where it’s more than just a toy.

Virtualization of the desktop involves things like Cloud computing, where the actual desktop sits physically in another location.  There are several green advantages to this solution:

  1. Reduced commuting.  Everyone talks about getting a hybrid car for better mileage and less emissions.  What better way to generate less smog and get better mileage than to not driving at all?  Being able to support remote work can help with employee retention and provide an appealing job benefit.
  2. Better connected organization.  If you have any personnel who need to be on the road, having the ability to access the company remotely can solve many urgent issues and cut down on undue stress if someone were to be on vacation or away at a particular client’s site.
  3. Better utilization of hardware and licenses.  In many companies, employees aren’t physically at their computers all day.  They may not need their computer on a regular basis.  In particular, if you’re working in a plant, you may find your employees on the floor more than in the office.  Providing virtualized workstations allows them the flexibility of using centralized computers. You do not need to provide each employee with their own station.  Obviously, one computer uses a lot less energy than hundreds, so not only  are you saving in expensive hardware and licenses, you’re also saving in electricity and floor space.

Virtualization of a server has a far more technical advantage that you may not immediately see.  By having your servers virtualized, you can:

  • Save on physical space needed for additional hardware
  • Save on electrical expense for maintaining a server, a server room, and the appropriate conditions to keeping the server healthy
  • Save on having to purchase additional hardware and save on potential software expenses as well
  • Reduce maintenance costs

 Regularly update and properly size equipment

There’s nothing worse than seeing people struggle to work with antiquated equipment.  Many companies believe that if they don’t upgrade their computer systems, they are saving the company money.

Unfortunately, having old or wrong equipment installed can waste your employee’s valuable time.  That’s time you’re paying for as a business owner.  While it may not be as tangible as the cost of having new equipment, I’m sure the cost of a new computer is far less than the time an employee will waste in any given year.

Having older equipment is also environmentally unfriendly.  As the years have progressed, computer companies have developed more efficient hardware that perform better with less power.  They generate less heat, thus requiring less cooling. Equipment, such a monitors, no longer emit as much harmful radiation.

Having a computer work beyond what it is physically capable of doing will cost in terms of both employee time and higher failure rate.

Regularly scheduled maintenance

A regularly scheduled maintenance  contract  will  keep your equipment performing with the latest patches helping to safe guard one of your most expense purchases for your business.  In addition to keeping your data safe, many of these patches include changes, such as battery utilization on laptops that can make energy and environmental differences.

So I may not be jumping on the “green” bandwagon, but there are many things that can be done that make green sense and good business sense.  If you’re interested in what options may apply to your company, please give us a call at Solve-IT.ca.

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