Widespread adoption of secure instant messaging could reduce carbon emissions in the UK by a staggering 14.2 billion lbs of CO2 - the equivalent to planting 713.5 million new trees annually - according to new research from technology consultants BWCS.
BWCS believes that within three years, 25% of UK office workers will cease their daily commute -opting instead to use technologies such as presence networking to remain in touch with colleagues whilst working from home.
Symon Blomfield, CEO of UK secure Instant Messaging company Presence Networks, explains "Simply by reducing travel by 96 miles per week, the average worker would save the planet from the effects of 4,257 pounds of
CO2 a year. This is the equivalent to the amount of carbon which can be neutralized by 207 fully grown trees annually."
Blomfield continues "Common sense dictates that business people in the UK and elsewhere need to adopt smarter and greener ways of working. By cutting down on travel using Presence Networks, quite apart from the huge savings in cost, business people will be helping to save the planet."
According to Blomfield, "Instant Collaboration networks allow you to see immediately which of your colleagues is available and enable you to contact them directly and immediately, on the network, securely and for free, via messaging, IP phone links or by sending text from their pcs to mobiles."
Blomfield continues, "The government itself has finally come round to giving this issue the prominence it deserves. We believe that the instant, secure connections offered by Presence Networks have a vital roll to play in reducing carbon emissions and we are calling on UK industry leaders to set an example and help introduce new, smarter and greener ways of working. The alternative, in terms of increasing congestion, choking pollution and ever-more expensive journeys is, frankly a nightmare for British industry and the planet as a whole."
Despite security concerns over public IM, recent surveys have shown that 81% of corporations believe that their employees work more productively with such systems. However, BWCS and many other technology consultants are warning companies against simply allowing the take-up of public IM at the work place. As recent attacks have shown, such programmes can be very dangerous, providing a wide-open entry-point for IM Viruses, Trojans and Worms. It comes as no surprise that For example, anti-virus firm Symantec reported a 400% increase in IM and peer-to-peer (P2P) networking viruses, worms and Trojans over the last twelve months.
Blomfield again "The trick is to harness this increased speed of communications offered by IM without leaving a gaping hole in network security, which is where Presence Networks shows its mettle. Ordinary public IM is not really a service; it carries little security and offers no service level agreements. Presence Networks has been different form the outset, we offer a fully secure, independently hosted solution that gives customers the ability to contact colleagues immediately across a secure network."
Presence Networks' system for example, which uses 128bit SSL encryption on all traffic, records, dates and time-stamps all messages enabling an audit trail to be established and making it compliant with FSA, SEC, Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II, HIPAA rules. BWCS believes that this level of security is vital in order that the market can take these services seriously and to drive the take-up of systems such as that developed by Presence Networks.