Green businesses are all the rage these days. FranchiseHelp reporst that 55% of customers across the world are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t very good. Many experts report that green businesses are hard to make profitable.
Businesses are becoming increasingly more concerned with their impact on the environment, and for good reason. As consumers become more aware of the environmental effects businesses have on the world around them, they are more inclined to work with environmentally friendly companies.
Fortunately, utilising a consultancy for IT operations, infrastructure and systems can help streamline your business processes to ensure environmental effects are minimised. By employing more digital technology, businesses can not only shift their work into the virtual space, but also decrease their carbon footprint and dependence on the physical environment.
These days, consumers are more inclined to purchase goods that are clearly marked as eco-friendly. This trend towards more sustainable products is growing at such a rapid pace that it’s becoming a major deciding factor in how well businesses are able to perform, and how profitable they are. Given this trend, it’s becoming ever more important for businesses to consider the mindset of their customers and how they can best cater to their needs.
Depending on the nature of the business, the steps they can take towards becoming more eco-friendly will vary. However, IT is one such aspect of all business operations which can help make them eco-friendly while offering functional benefits.
Digital Security and Cyber Security
Physical security is always a concern for both small and large businesses, and modern technology makes this aspect of business cost-effective, flexible and environmentally friendly. Smart office setups have entries and exits monitored as well as virtually accessible locks for all drawers and cabinets. One can monitor the premises and all storage spaces on-site easily through an app or website.
Through such smart office solutions, doors, drawers and anything with a digital lock on it can be locked and unlocked virtually. Online cameras mean businesses not only have eyes on their property 24/7, but this data is recorded and can be used later if the need arises.
As the operations of the business become digital, it’s important to have IT solutions for cyber security in place as well. Online point of sale systems, data servers, the company website and the local network are just a few of the many places where cybercriminals can gain entry. The latest digital security protocols work well against all kinds of attacks and help protect the business as well as its clients.
Cloud-based solutions have a massive impact on business operation costs which, in turn, also influence how the business impacts the environment. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) makes it possible for businesses to outsource their software and hardware requirements. Software as a service (SaaS) takes this a step further and shifts everything off-site. With modern IT setups and digital enterprise solutions, businesses can operate almost entirely virtually, meaning there’s close to zero impact on the environment. Employees don’t need to commute to work, there’s little physical waste, minimum hardware use and very little dependence on the physical environment.
Communication and interaction are vital for business and affect the environment in multiple ways. Digital communication channels make this easy for businesses and clients. Voice over IP (VoIP) makes use of the internet rather than telephone lines to connect people for communication. This is significantly more cost-effective and the environment is also saved from further harm. Similarly, video conferencing makes it possible to see each other and communicate as if you’re in the same room. This saves travel time and expense in having to physically meet someone.
Chatbots are another great way for businesses to interact with clients. Most importantly, they reduce the clients’ wait time because they’re always available. They can also reduce stress on the business, as they don’t need to hire multiple customer relation professionals to cater to client needs.
Off-Site IT Support
Even large firms with in-house IT teams need the services of a specialised third-party IT support company sometimes. However, smaller firms that rely fully on these outsourced solutions save money and keep stress on the environment low. These third-party service providers provide the same level of support, if not better, and are often more specialised than an in-house team would be. Because the service is outsourced, there’s a smaller on-site team (if any) and businesses benefit from lower operating costs while receiving high-quality services.
While saving the environment is important, it’s also important to make sure the business is well equipped to handle environmental problems such as earthquakes, fires, pandemics and the resulting aftermath of these events. Disaster recovery plans make it possible for businesses to continue to function after an environmental catastrophe and keep the business’ data safe in cases of damage to physical property and theft. Disaster recovery solutions provide a full backup of the entire business operation and can even provide physical premises for the staff to operate from in case their own office is inaccessible.
The level of recovery that can be provided by these services will vary, however even a basic plan is great to have just in case. Safeguarding the business in a digital form will be significantly less than needing to create a physical backup, which may be tough to implement as a regular precautionary measure.
IT is Very Important for Sustainability in Business
Utilizing an external IT support firm to help your business go (and stay) green is a valuable investment, not only in your company’s future, but for the planet and environment. From digital security to disaster recovery, your business can become green and grow without significantly impacting the world around it.