Smart thinking; big gains

11 Jul 12

IT and printing are crucial parts of any business, but in today’s corporate environment, it’s just as important to be a responsible global citizen. Providing printing solutions that help customers reduce their impact on the environment and save money requires diversification and smarter thinking.

Companies can capitalise on the push towards green IT by examining their IT processes and optimising areas of inefficiency. While sustainability indicates an overarching corporate social responsibility strategy, green IT is what businesses can do to honour this responsibility.

Historically, imaging and printing has not been a corporate priority partly due to fragmented budgets, IT constraints and complexity. However, in today’s environment, economic pressures, green objectives and security are all driving companies to be more strategic about their IT investments. And it should be a conversation resellers are having with their customers.

From a business standpoint, optimising imaging and printing infrastructures, streamlining and standardising printing management, and improving workflows through document digitalisation will significantly benefit a company’s bottom line.

From a sustainability perspective, organisations can reduce energy consumption and paper usage, decrease printing carbon footprints and simplify recycling and end-of-use disposal of hardware and cartridges.

Active print management can cut office printing costs by up to 30%.* Factor in the environmental gains and the business case becomes even more compelling.

Assessment time
Consolidation and integration are key parts of sustainable practice in the IT space. Resellers can provide valuable guidance by familiarising themselves with their customer’s sustainability and business goals and factoring these into the IT strategy they put forward.

A common recommendation resulting from an initial assessment by a reseller is to consolidate printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines with fewer, faster and more energy efficient printers including multifunction devices. A wider assessment of printing infrastructure then follows where the reseller can encourage customers to ask questions of themselves about their business’ sustainability needs and goals, such as:

  • Do you know your company’s total cost of printing?

  • Are you interested in reducing its carbon footprint?

  • Are you aware of potential energy savings?

  • Have you established IT metrics and goals?

  • Are you regularly using tools to track your progress against environmental goals?

  • Are your IT resources maximising the power of available network print management tools?

Using the information gathered from this exercise, resellers can position themselves as a business advisor and tailor a technology platform that integrates devices, solutions, monitoring and management tools with enterprise services infrastructure — leading to enhanced IT efficiency and end-user productivity, decreased costs, reduced environmental footprint and provide a better overall customer experience.

Increasingly, business leaders are being called on to align their departments’ operations with corporate green and cost-cutting initiatives. Green technologies, devices and practices will not only help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, they can also help drive greater productivity and significantly reduce costs.

In a world of increasing corporate environmental awareness, addressing green IT needs and adopting best practice initiatives can put a business ahead of the curve. A bigger opportunity for the reseller and a better outcome for the customers.

* Garner, Cost-Cutting Initiatives for Office Printing, Sharon McNee, Ken Wellerstein, 22 February 2008.

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