Blog • 10.11.2020

Making positive impact through sustainability in development of digital services

Making positive impact through sustainability in development of digital services

Sustainability in digitalisation can be seen as one of the most pressing challenges of our time. Everyone sees the obvious. Smartphones, laptops, IoT devices are shipped from factories faster than ever. Internet and online community are growing to match the ever-growing demand at an alarming pace.

Hold on a second, but we are not in the devices business, are we? No, we are not, we are a consultancy.

We are here to help our customers thrive and make Gofore the best workplace for everyone while doing so. We do this through the use of new technologies, agile and lean ways of working, working on the customer with their innovation gains, generation of new sales and value growth opportunities, working towards higher productivity and bringing efficiency into processes.

So are we to only measure the positive impact of our customer’s end result?

Are we to only measure the positive impact of the end result?

Consider products or services, such as, development of smart home systems to optimise energy consumption at home. Reducing food waste through the development of food-sharing applications. Implementing more intelligent and AI-powered transport systems to guide traffic through cities to reduce emissions. Apps to promote and ease the use of public transportation, bicycles, or car-sharing.

We are working as consultants in many big companies in which the difference can be made and measured through the end result. It actually feels quite straightforward to measure the impact of the end result but then again not the journey of how to get there. A great deal of software design, development, product and project management, cloud infrastructure, and development operations are needed. So what about measuring the impact on sustainability for the journey of how to get there?

What about the sustainability in development activities?

What kind of activities could make us and our customers think more about sustainability when doing design, development, product or project management, implementing cloud infrastructure, or setting up advanced development operations? Could we actually measure the positive impact of the good development practices we use in software development on a daily basis? Would it truly be possible to promote, visualise and measure sustainability actually through our own individual actions in our customer’s digital transformation and not just only through the end result?

So how can we make a positive impact through sustainability in development activities? Can we actually work towards sustainability, for example, create services and products that consume less energy or use fewer resources? Simply put, yes I believe we can.

Technology will save the world but it needs to be organized around doing so

Technology will save the world but it needs to be organized around doing so. In order to show, measure and verify the positive impact, we need to start walking the talk and spread the message that we can actually make a positive impact on sustainability through the daily work we do. Most often the work starts from realizing that there is actually a negative or neutral impact being made contrary to positive.

But what would sustainability in different software lifecycle processes entail? What about in quality assurance, software testing, test automation, or load and performance testing? What about runtime sustainability not to forget maintenance and support? What about all other environmental, societal, governmental aspects of sustainability in general?

So how can we incorporate sustainability into our software development activities? What could we measure? What about monitoring consumption and aim towards reducing it? Not just because it should be cheaper but because it is more sustainable? Creating current state analysis and trackable metrics on sustainability? Sharing code and using open source to promote sustainable use of resources? Preventing the collection of irrelevant and non-mandatory customer data? Stop storing years worth of useless logs you newer go back to?

How could we do it? What could we measure?

What else? Could we consider this as a discussion starter, a wake-up call of sorts? How could we incorporate sustainability into our software development activities? How could we do it? What could we measure? Are we interested? Connect and let’s start ideating! Remember to also check out what Good Growth is about!

Juhana Harmanen

Juhana Harmanen

Juhana is a Capability Owner of Web Development multitasking as a Technology Consultant in key projects. He strives to renew and nurture Gofore’s capabilities in Web Development to match the current and future needs of our clients, and to grow new scalable businesses. He finds his passion in entrepreneurial orientation and leading new ventures. Juhana loves being outdoors and has in his past spent twelve short summers as a wilderness guide in Lapland. Recently his free time has been filled with spending time with his children and family or in house renovation projects one after another.

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