Go Digital, Go Green

There definitely is logic behind that. Managed Print Service has evolved way beyond the concept of cost per copy (cpc) or providing an assessment to right size the fleet. Most Managed Print Services (MPS) today entail the outsourcing of the fleet and document strategy to ensure the customer’s business process optimization goals are met.

Experts believe, defining MPS can be a confusing journey and trying to understand all MPS functionalities can be just as daunting. A section of the industry describes it as an end-to-end system designed to manage an organization’s entire document output infrastructure by streamlining supply channels, equipment acquisitions, maintenance support and establishing rules based workflows.

The phasing out of the Indian telegram service, that linked the country for last 167 years, illustrates the technological revolution we are witnessing – one that is making life increasingly digital and connected, and is transforming the way people live, work, play and communicate. Mobility and social networks have brought about a transformation that has impacted rich and poor, cities and towns equally, making deep inroads in the heart of India. Changes in mobile communications have always been evolutionary and disruptive, and the advent of multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and every fathomable kind of application is making both access as well as the experience of technology seamless and convenient in ways we never dreamed of even ten years ago.

In the not too distant future, almost everything will be done digitally to create a differentiated and life-enriching experience. Broadband and collaboration technologies are already helping Governments across the world find technology solutions to challenges in education and healthcare sectors. This is also true in India. With the availability of quality teachers posing a challenge to the education sector in rural India, technology is enabling teachers, students and researchers at different locations to connect and collaborate with each other, to deliver the much needed facilities. For example, the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani has connected four campuses across Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai through telepresence and other collaboration technologies to enable remote teaching, participatory coursework, collaborative research and remote recruitment. Education, eGovernance and healthcare are important sectors benefitting immensely through the digitisation process.

The future
Faster connections, improved access, greater efficiency, more profitability for companies, better healthcare and education, better governance – the list of benefits of digitisation is endless. However, one of the most lasting impacts of digitisation is probably the environment, the planet earth.

Over the past 50 years human population has nearly tripled – and the effect of this mushrooming is visible on the environment. Carbon emissions increased 1.4 per cent last year, reaching a record high level of 31.6 gigatonnes. Increasing carbon emission levels have caused intense droughts and heat waves across continents, and have caused changes in tropical cyclones and storm patterns, in turn harming agriculture production. Sea levels have risen worldwide approximately by 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) in the last century and this increase has accelerated over the past ten years. It is said that climate change will devastate global economies if emissions are not curbed.

Governments and stakeholders across the world are looking at innovative ways for society to become more ecologically responsible, and the solutions for most part lie in effective utilisation of technology.

Any schoolchild today knows that it is bad to cut trees, and to waste paper. But the world’s consumption of paper has grown 400 per cent in the last 40 years. Nearly 4 billion trees worldwide are cut down each year for paper, representing about 35 per cent of all harvested trees. Scientists speculate that if we don’t do something soon, our great-grandchildren might not even have the chance to visit the great Amazon rainforest in 50 years!

The technology industry therefore is looking at ways to help organisations reduce their environmental impact – one easily achieved by reducing the quantum of paper in an organisation. By transforming the way organisations capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents or in other words by reducing just a ton of paper companies can save up to 24 trees and this CAN be done.

A case in point is the Copernicus Group IRB (CGIRB), which is an independent institutional review board (IRB), an organisation officially designated by the FDA to review and monitor biomedical research involving human subjects. CGIRB was able to transform itself from a paper-reliant company with millions of pages of legacy documentation into a completely digital, paperless organisation in less than two years.

Companies like Xerox are investing to help the industry go green, and introducing innovative technologies to help organisations walk the paperless path. It is now possible, for example, for documents to be scanned directly to cloud services such as Google Drive, Evernote and Microsoft Office 365 for storage and collaboration. Imagine the quantum of paper saved if a law firm could go digital. A recent survey of law firms found that each attorney generates up to 100,000 sheets a year. Assuming a 2,000-hour work year, that's 50 pages an hour. Almost a sheet a minute. Enough paper laid end-to-end to wrap around the US Supreme Court Building 66 times.

A good scanner or in fact an all-in-one printer is the first step to become paperless. You can scan all your documents and save on cloud. There are many options available to manage your digitised documents such as Doo or Yep. A few more must-haves for a successful outcome are online-offline syncing, security and protection, and an experience which is better than paper. With a population of 6.7 billion, and counting, we need a solution and act upon it now to save our environment. We need to come together for deforestation; we can look at shipping everyone to another planet or just stop cutting trees! And, I think, the latter is the answer to this massive problem.