Tips for SMB offices to go green IT

Tips for SMB offices to go green IT

Summary: Smaller firms typically lag behind larger ones in adopting eco-friendly practices due their focus on survival and lack of economies of scales from investments, but there are still basic ways for them to go green.

TOPICS: SMBs, CXO, IT Priorities

Despite growing corporate interest to be more eco-friendly, small and midsize businesses 
(SMBs)--although keen--may not be following through with adoption of green IT and practices.

According to Audrey Heng, senior market analyst for green IT at IDC, SMBs have less incentive to go green compared with larger companies as their priority simply would be to "make a living".

"SMBs don't even spend a lot of IT, so if they don't even spend a lot on IT, they will not even be reaping a lot of benefits from green IT," Heng added.

Still, she noted some of the simpler steps SMBs could consider adopting first, which include setting printers to print double-sided on default, and installing software to automatically power down devices and track power usage.

Workflow can also be digitized through document scanning so information can be shared over tablets instead of paper printouts.

On a more advanced level, Heng said SMBs could encourage employees to telecommute and use videoconferencing for meetings and sales trainings.

"Ultimately, there is no point having all these green IT and policies if employees don't make use of them, so what SMBs need to do is also to educate staff," she said.

Topics: SMBs, CXO, IT Priorities


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • Going Green in SMB

    The term green IT became popular a decade ago. However, only giant IT organizations and large data centers implemented green IT practices - and this was mostly due to regulations and the wish to cut costs, rather than any internal agenda for reducing global warming
  • Green and black are the colours of money.

    I'm not exactly a business, I'm a charity. If you think small businesses have a tough time of it, at least they get some green incentives from government, and support from the industry itself.

    Charity relies basically on windfall, and tends to aggregate older technology discarded by the industry, yet still has to comply with regulations. Its the compliance that costs the money...

    Saying that, I do always look at ways of making everything I do as friendly to the environment as possible, and working with disabilities and technology gives me some options. Like Raspberry Pi instead of a PC in the equipment, and virtualisation of documents and other things that traditionally use resources - I do that anyway as a necessity more often than not.

    It does make me laugh however, to watch the government whipping the backs of Industry to grub the last of every fossil resources from the planet and burn it as cleanly as possible. I mean, come on guys, thats a mixed message at best.