2012-07-15

Sustainability Scans

The Software Improvement Group (SIG), a member of the Green IT Amsterdam Region, offers the so called Sustainability Scans for software processes and software products.
In their presentation "Optimisation of IT Energy-Efficiency at the Application Level" (held at the 28th GSE Conference 2010) they argued that traditional Green IT efforts mainly focus on reducing energy loss in the power supply chain, but that the source of any energy demand of an information system is software.

Thus, in their opinion, it is strictly necessary to shift the focus to application-level energy optimization, a strategic aspect of Green IT. The key factor that brings energy optimization to success, is the awareness of the developers and other stakeholder for software induced energy consumption. The approach has two dimensions: the process and the product.
These are addressed by two assessment frameworks, offered by SIG as consulting services:
  • Green Process Scan answers the question whether your software development project is organized to produce energy-efficient applications.
  • Green Product Scan answers the questions whether your software product is energy efficient.
The frameworks cover the complete software life cycle beginning with requirements and ending with operations:
  • Requirements: Estimate energy consequences of requirements
  • Design: Estimate energy consequences of design decisions
  • Build:
    • High-quality coding to minimize build, test, rework, and maintenance effort
    • Energy-aware coding of algorithms, data structures, communication, concurrency
  • Operation: Monitor energy consumption and provide feedback to development
The process part is based on a maturity model that starts at level #0 with "Non-existent: No awareness of energy-efficiency" and ends at level #5 with "Continuous improvement: Energy concern pervades entire life cycle".