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What is 'green' software design? What is Open Source development?

What does green have to do with software developers and software engineers?

How can the Information Technology (IT) industry improve its green credentials?         

Devising high performance computing, i.e. developing ‘smarter’ software to exploit parallel, multiprocessor architectures will inevitably mean more efficient use of hardware resources and better coding techniques.

Another major aspect of green software is sustainable software development and the use of Open Source methodologies.

Sustainable Development is defined as “balancing economic growth and social needs with the natural environment. This should also be achieved in a fashion so that growth in the present does not adversely sacrifice future opportunities”. (Definition by the Open Source Framework for Sustainability).

Sustainability Systems Development refers to specialized software engineers and developers who design, build, and maintain the networks of sensors, data collection systems and probabilistic modeling to support smart energy grids, alternative energy production, congestion road pricing, and other systems that substituting intelligence for natural resources.

IT professionals with expertise in using large scale enterprise resource planning, and developers familiar with Open Source concept and applications, are in need.

In a nutshell, Open Source is an architecturally driven approach that is not linked to any vendor/supplier. Open source is an ideal development and business model for today's online participatory, collaborative, networked culture. The open source model offers liberties to users and developers and supports true collaborative innovation. Open source software can provides accessibility, low or no upgrade or switching costs, and provide a better value in an environment that allows for everyone’s participation and competition. Companies can monetize their innovations by building on the contributions of others.

This business model can be applied at the strategic and enterprise levels as well as in tactical projects.

Open Source Software is widely supported by environmentally conscious proponents, tends to use fewer resources and, due to its collaborative development process, is more efficient.

By streamlining process and software applications we may be able to conserve resources, reduce man-hours, and ultimately save money. Another aspect is building software that helps users to reduce their negative environmental impact, such as to significantly cut-down on paper-use.

For example, in the business environment a paper-based process might include several documents and forms: sales notes, call activity, sales logs, quotes, and contracts. Marketing may produce costly and glossy paper collateral with product literature and brochures; mail collateral and white papers to prospective and actual customers. Mailing or faxing hardcopy quotations and sales orders, and printing various reports for Purchasing and Accounts Receivable departments are additional paper transactions, and many more.

Replacing the above process with an online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module for tracking and organizing opportunities, recording pending calls, notes, and associated documents, as well as, using online document storage and email transmission of literature to customers, using online purchase requisition and electronic approval are ways to reduce paper and transportation usage and become more efficient.

These are all important attributes of Green-software and sustainable software systems.

Comments

Fascinating article and I

Fascinating article and I never really thought of the Green benefit of OpenSource.   This site, driven by Drupal, if is a perfect example of building a fully functional site being built with little resources due to OpenSource. 

Cloud Computing is another example (sharing resources and getting what you need) of good Green Computing!  Have you seen Newsweek's rankings that just came up for greenest companies?  HP, Dell, J&J, IBM, Intel head the list (4 of top 5 are computing).  Interesting .... I personally want to look into this to figure out how much I can trust this list. 

Mark

 

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