Top 10 Tips For Administrators To Turn Green

Everyone can do their bit for the environment, and reduce costs, simply by being a little bit smarter about how they use information technology. Start here with these top 10 green IT tips, presented in no particular order.

1. Setting a Green Goal

Set a green goal. Make sure everyone is aware of this goal and work towards reaching it. This can be something as simple as remembering to turn off all monitors, printers, water heaters and airconditioners each night at the office. Providing incentives or holding a competiton between departments could help as an added motivation to reach that goal.

2. Switch IT off

Educate your users to to turn off (or hibernate) their machines after work, especially over the wekeend. Configure power management settings. These settings can automatically turn monitors, hard drives or entire systems off after specific periods of inactivity. Finally, speak to management to make this a company policy.

3. Recycle IT

Use recycled paper and print on both sides of the paper. This can save a lot of wasted paper. Use digital format media rather than printed documentation for company handbooks, manuals, rosters etc.

4. Get rid of IT

Replace all old CRT monitors with new, low-energy TFT monitors. Studies have shown a steep decline in power consuption when using TFT monitors.

5. Virtualize IT

Switch to Virtualization and reduce the number of physical servers. Nowadays there are manufacturers who trade old hardware and give out discounts on new, green technology. Purchase energy efficient servers, always opting for low power servers and server components where possible. Review the power consumption of network devices such as switches and routers. If need be, replace with more environmentally-friendly devices.

6. Re-use IT

When applicable, use reconditioned toner cartridges and get ink cartridges refilled. This one’s a no brainer. Not only does it help the environment but it’s also much cheaper!

7. Re-condition IT

Where possible, buy or lease reconditioned photocopiers, printers and all-in-one machines (such as the new printer, scanner, photocopier devices).

8. Certify IT

When possible, only purchase EPEAT Gold certified hardware. This prevents excessive packaging, plastics and another waste material from being dumped in the environment.

9. Stop using paper

Rather than sending and receiving faxes the expensive, conventional way, deploy an electronic fax solution. It makes sending and receiving faxes an efficient, simple and cost-effective process and solves the problems with manual faxing: printing out the document, walking to the fax machine, waiting for the fax to go through, not to mention the cost of fax machine supplies and repair. Faxing solutions allow users to send and receive faxes directly from their email client.

10. Make the switch

Finally, rather than having to travel to remote offices and commute to customers new technologies allow you to connect to any PC or server around the world within minutes. Such IT Managed Services software solutions makes it easy to stay on top of your customers’ servers, desktops, networks, hardware, software, inventory tracking, automated server and desktop maintenance tools, remote support – and more, without having to waste time, energy and money. Furthermore, instead of employees having to commute to attend board meetings, company updates and so on, use video conference solutions, such as Polycom.

Emmanuel Carabott CISSP heads security research at GFI Software. He has over 12 years’ experience in the security field and is a regular contributor to several websites and blogs. For more information about the benefits of using email usage reporting.