5 key technologies that will have most impact on the recycling industry over the coming year

1) Virtualisation (also known as The Cloud!)

Virtualisation, incorporating Cloud Computing, will bring significant benefits to companies that need the flexibility to grow and/or contract their workforce whilst paying only for the software and services they use. This is suited to the dynamic businesses we see, particularly in the EfW arena. An additional and significant benefit is that this type of computing infrastructure can reduce the carbon footprint massively compared with traditional in-house environments with multiple servers and dedicated computer rooms.

2) E-business
We’ve seen consumers shift their buying habits from the high street to the web over the last decade, but many businesses fail to take full advantage of the e-business opportunities. More so than in many other industry sectors, recycling & waste management companies perform a substantial amount of their business transactions using contractors and other 3rd parties. This results in a huge number of human interactions (phone, email, post, fax) that could be automated using XML (an electronic instruction or document standard) based around agreed business rules. Removing the unnecessary overhead of repetitive tasks and deploying your information workers to perform value-add activities can increase your company’s performance hugely.

3) Unified Communications
Products such as Microsoft Exchange and Outlook have transformed the way we work. But with the addition of Microsoft Office Communication Server and Live Meeting you can bring instant messaging, presence information, Voice over IP and Video Conferencing to your business at very low cost. The ability to instantly respond, act and resolve takes away some of the frustrations of email overload. Live Meeting and the Video Conferencing that it supports is highly effective to organisations with staff working across multiple sites or from home. Again, this improves the pace at which an organisation operates and reduces cost (and carbon footprint) accordingly.

4) Solid State Drive
We have all experienced the benefits of memory sticks, SD cards etc. The development in solid state memory means that the days of the traditional spinning hard-drive are numbered. Solid State drives can be many times quicker than their moving predecessor resulting in faster running applications, and quicker analysis of data. In addition, they are now becoming quite affordable and therefore much more prevalent.

5) Green Computing
This is a huge area and a few hardware, software and systems integrators are taking the lead. Looking at the whole-life environmental impact of IT solutions is going to be as big to major IT vendors as the CO2/km measure is to motor manufacturers and consumers.

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