When I first heard this story about Saskatchewan Cabinet ministers buying iPads to help reduce paper, I thought this was a great story. Yet, after browsing the comments of news sites people seems to be livid about this, saying it’s just a big waste of money. I have to disagree.
Here’s a snippet of the story from the CBC:
Last week, a Saskatchewan cabinet official announced that Apple iPad tablets were being issued to cabinet ministers and senior staff in an effort to reduce paper consumption.
“In my office alone, as this gets rolled out, I will save 68 boxes of paper in my office a year,” deputy cabinet secretary Rick Mantey told CBC News. “We’re [also] saving on courier costs. That’s going to go down, from my office, by $8,000, $9,000 a year.”
Mantey said that in a typical week, a single cabinet minister could be loaded down with six to 10 kilograms of documents.
Let’s get one thing straight: no tablet will ever replace paper.
However, tablets such as the iPad can help reduce paper usage very easily, especially when it comes to documents such as PDF files. I know this from personal experience from sitting on the Strata Council at our condominium. I’ve had my iPad with me to help reduce the waste of photocopied meeting agendas and other documents sent to me via email.
The easiest and most convenient way to get documents securely is through DropBox. I just download them onto my iPad and save them into iBooks. I can then view them quickly without printing–most of the time these daily documents just get recycled anyways. The iPad’s screen is the perfect size for looking at documents. It’s not too small, and it’s not too big.
Even though this program will cost $25,000 up front to implement, they expect to save up to $50,000 annually from having electronic documents on iPads. That will pay for itself in the first year, if those figures are true.
As for people griping about why they didn’t wait to purchase RIM’s latest PlayBook instead, the answers are fairly straightforward:
- the PlayBook is vaporware as of this moment in time. It’s set to launch in half a year from now in March 2011.
- there’s no pricing announced.
- there’s are no 3G models.
- the specs are impressive–but will the PlayBook’s OS beat Apple’s iOS in the ease of use department?
I think this is a great play by the Saskatchewan government. A plan to go digital with unnecessary paper documents will save a tonne of paper in the long run.
What do you think? Great idea or bad idea?
PS – does this look familiar?
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Posted under: iPad News