Public Sector Focus

19.03.18

Making a mission impossible, possible

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XMA, one of the UK’s leading providers of technology products, services and solutions to the public sector, discovers how it really is possible to save energy, money – the world, even – one monitor at a time…

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to achieve ever-changing, newly set energy efficiency targets, whilst also coping with current and future funding cuts that have a direct impact on your IT hardware procurement.

Local government has borne the brunt of the public spending cuts in recent years and with further cuts expected, what will local government look like in 2018? More to the point, what decisions do councils need to make today to deliver the savings needed in future? 

In a recent report, the Local Government Association (LGA) states that, in this climate, a sustainable future for local services in the face of funding cuts and spending pressures is dependent upon changes in the way we think about funding local services, and how we manage the system. However, this doesn’t take into account the current spending needs on vital infrastructure components and services – so there’s also need to ensure they are informed on choosing the best possible products that can offer long-term benefits and cost savings in addition to being at the right price-point.

The office IT infrastructure within local government offices, healthcare centres, schools, universities, police and fire service centres to name a few, is fundamental in running efficient services.

Sustainability is a key driver of innovation and when sourced correctly across most IT hardware products, can make a massive impact on improving your business competitiveness by increasing productivity and saving energy.

Philips design and produce monitors with innovation and the environment in mind, a double bonus for the challenges faced by local government procurement faculties.

Savings aren’t always obvious but it’s worth considering component use when choosing desktop displays. Comparing the latest generation IPS panel technology over the traditionally preferred TN display is a starter for ten. At first glance TN technology is one or two pounds per unit cheaper, and when buying high quantities, can be attractive to the bottom line. Tests have shown however that TN panels are typically up to 35% less energy efficient than the latest IPS panels. Therefore, over the typical life of a monitor, the energy use costs will add up to considerably more than the initial cash saved.

Also, taking into account the life cycle of your monitor, and with average upgrade cycles for public sector businesses around 4-5 years, Philips offers extended warranties to cover this depreciation period, across their entire range, guaranteeing no further costs of operation.

Then there are the obvious long-term savings and benefits offered through developing unique and innovative technology. The Philips PowerSensor was developed in solution to studies that revealed, over time, personnel forgot to turn off their display after leaving their desk during the day. 

The PowerSensor is a smart monitor technology with a built-in “people sensor.” Infrared signals detect the presence of a person in front of the monitor and automatically reduce energy consumption by up to 80% soon after they walk away. So, every meeting, coffee break, trip to the printer and chat with a co-worker is an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and hence operating costs, effortlessly.

Considering products that adhere to the latest compliance standards should be encouraged, as they are specifically set up to assist everyone purchasing electronic goods. Using these standards as a guide, informed decisions on energy efficiency can be made with confidence, without compromising the environmental goals and values that price restrictions can affect.

Most Philips business displays are EPEAT GOLD and Energy 7 certified, to name a few. EPEAT standards are the definitive global registry for greener electronics and being awarded the highest rating not only shows how a product meets all the rigorous criteria set but that they do so to the highest level. 

Pressure on personnel to handle increased workloads and work longer hours encourages a culture that sees a vast amount of time spent behind the screen, and, as a result, could lead to staff absences due to certain health related complaints. General fatigue, headaches, eye-strain, neck pain and back pain are some of the most common issues for office workers – ultimately causing a decrease in productivity. 

Philips ergonomically designed bases include features such as height, swivel and tilt adjustable monitors meaning every team member can find a comfortable and healthy working position, either sitting or standing.

Reducing eye-strain – in particular from exposure to the blue light our eyes are subjected to by screens at home, work and on our phone – was a driving factor in developing the SoftBlue and LowBlue features within the next generation monitors from Philips. Blue light is the closest visible light next to UV rays and according to researchers this high-energy light can contribute to eye damage and diseases. Using hardware and software solutions, Philips can effectively reduce the harmful shortwave blue light without affecting the colour or image of the display.

Inevitably, the life-cycle of IT hardware comes to an end and upgrades are a necessity that no-one likes to face unless pushed. In recent times, publicised security breaches, in the NHS for example, have clearly demonstrated that lack of investment affects this aspect of your business and costs huge amounts of money in both immediate rectification and future-proofing.

With hackers becoming ever more inventive – and with awareness growing of potential risk exposure through webcams – Philips have launched a display with a Privacy Webcam. This webcam pops up when needed but is otherwise hidden in the display frame.

Finally, shared office workspace is becoming increasingly common, but if you are subject to changing your mobile providers or upgrading your laptops you may find you have to change your docking solutions as well. Per unit, this is a large cost outlay and to help you avoid this Philips have introduced their range of integrated docking solution based around the latest USB technology. This allows users to dock, connect, and charge their laptops without the fuss of multiple USB cables and connectors, making manufacturer-bespoke docks a thing of the past.

As XMA has discovered, the technology is out there meeting a range of energy-saving, production efficient challenges and best of all, ensuring that IT hardware procurement in the public sector needn’t be a mission impossible.

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