Why Sustainable Software is More Important Than Ever

Nowadays, with digital technology so pervasive in daily life, it can be simple to forget that it even exists. The carbon footprint, however, is a cost associated with the world’s ever-expanding use of tech that isn’t necessarily obvious to the end user.

According to some researchers, the ICT industry’s portion of the global carbon footprint has increased from 1.5% to 4% since 2007. That’s a significant leap. And the numbers keep increasing. Some predict that by 2040, ICT will account for 14% of world emissions, though precise projections are often challenging at this distance in time.

And that’s even more likely if, as predicted, energy-intensive technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain continue to see increasing adoption. Take into account the fact that Bitcoin is said to use more energy annually than the entire country of Switzerland. There is an immediate need for more effective remedies.

Leveraging the Sustainable Software Technology

It’s only one of the numerous factors contributing to the basic connection between enterprise software and sustainability today. In order to increase sustainability across the world economy and assist the globe in reaching net zero, CIOs and their organizations have a crucial role to play.

We just released a new analysis investigating the need for greater alignment between businesses’ technology and sustainability strategy in order to support these crucial initiatives.

It highlights why CIOs should concentrate on three crucial imperatives: utilizing technology to optimize sustainability, creating tech more sustainable, and enhancing the impact of sustainability strategy with a larger ecosystem.

The study contains a lot of insightful information. In particular, how businesses might use technology to address long-standing sustainability concerns while also generating profit.

Time to Adopt Green Software

The first is the possibility that “green software” may radically improve business IT sustainability. Software by itself, of course, doesn’t produce any carbon. But hardware is required for the software to execute, which it does.

What’s implied? How we design, build, and deploy technology can significantly impact the carbon footprint when viewed within the broader context of business IT. As a result, it must be a crucial component of the sustainability plan.

A New Sustainable Software Structure

Our latest report outlines some of the main focuses for green software. These involve expanding the use of appropriate development techniques, lowering the energy requirements of AI models, reevaluating how distributed ledgers are created, and other things.

One outstanding illustration of the possibilities is cloud infrastructure. According to Accenture’s research, moving to a public cloud may have the same carbon footprint as removing 22 million cars from the road.

Additionally, cloud infrastructure continues to improve in efficiency. For instance, Google currently employs a carbon-intelligent system that allows its data centers to execute workloads during the best time of day to utilize renewable energy sources.

Why the Need for Sustainable Software

This raises a crucial point. You don’t need to perform a full-scale cloud migration to improve sustainability. Sometimes, even small adjustments can have a significant impact.

Did you know that using “dark mode” application user interfaces—light text on a dark background—reduces carbon emissions by around 60%? The battery life of a single smartphone may be increased as a result. However, if you scale it up over a whole international organization, you could significantly impact sustainability.

Another illustration? High-resolution video streaming can be 8 times more carbon intensive than ordinary definition. Yes, reduced definition unmistakably lowers the experience in some use scenarios. Users, though, wouldn’t even notice the change in many circumstances.

Finding the right balance between application performance and electricity consumption for each use case matters most in the end.

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