Back in January, the City Council in Vancouver, WA transitioned to using iPad 2s and went almost entirely paperless. As a result, the city has experienced a 40 percent reduction in printed documents needed for meetings.
The iPad has replaced documents like packets for council meetings and orientation sessions after City Council Member Jack Burkman convinced the city to ditch the paper waste.
After the success of the trial run, the City Council is planning to complete its transition to paperless over the course of the next few months, and to facilitate the sharing of documents, the city set up an internal FTP site where it stores PDF files for council members to download.
It might sound expensive for the entire City Council to adopt the iPad, but it’s actually saving the city money. The city paid $71 per month for BlackBerry access, but just $43 per month for unlimited iPad data, resulting in a savings of $336 per year for every iPad that replaced a BlackBerry.
Printing those meeting packets can cost as much as $21.10, and with eight to ten items on an agenda, the city might see savings of $200 per meeting. That quickly justifies the upfront cost of the iPads, which ran about $601.50 each for a total of $17,000.
Vancouver’s City Council isn’t the first government agency to start replacing RIM devices with iPads. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is planning on ditching BlackBerry, and the U.S. General Services Administration has added iOS devices to its approved purchasing list.
With the release of the next generation iPad, replacing print documents with tablets will be a no-brainer, because the high resolution Retina Display is crisper and easier to read. We’ll likely see many more organizations and corporations adopting iPads and going paperless during the course of 2012.