3. Thin provisioning
Thin provisioning is a storage strategy touted by Hitachi Data Systems, HP, and other vendors. The premise behind the technology is pretty straightforward: It lets IT admins view all of their storage hardware as a great big pool and divvy up slices as needed, rather than allocating separate arrays for different business units that might not be taking full advantage of the pricey hardware you've set aside for them.
The result, if all goes well: You can purchase just enough storage machinery to meet your organization's collective needs, which means you're paying less money for arrays running at 20 percent utilization while you pay for 100 percent of their drives to spin. Once again, you get a cost savings and an environmental benefit. (Notably, thin provisioning isn't the only storage strategy that can result in cost savings and eco-friendly benefits.)
4. Document-technology systems and print management
Research finds that the average employee wastes $85 worth of printer paper and ink each year through unnecessary printing. Those numbers can build up fast if your organization prints more than the average number of contracts, legal briefs, marketing materials, manuals, spreadsheets, and the like. Add to that the cost of powering and maintaining various document-printing machines, including copiers, printers, and faxes.
A green-tech investment in print-management software from companies such as Equitrac can help you reduce paper waste and ink waste -- and save you a substantial sum of money in the process. Equitrac's wares let admins set up policies that prevent users from, say, printing Web pages in costlier color ink, or defaults certain types of documents to two-sided printing instead of one. It also ensures that a machine doesn't print a document until a user is actually at said machine to collect it. The result: You save money on paper and ink -- plus preserve some trees and other natural resources.