It’s difficult for an organization to consider its evolution without factoring in its responsibilities to the environment and society. Targets such as increased business insight, greater efficiency, more seamless processes, and better user experience ought to be joined by a commitment to become carbon neutral as well as to corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR&S) and digital inclusiveness topics. Sustainability and efficiency are linked – the more efficient we are, the less resources or energy we spend. And the positive impact of truly sustainable engagements on employees and customers is the cherry on the cake.
Giving CR&S a technology focus should be as natural as the attention it gets in the organization and business strategy. But technology is often neglected in this area, and it must be addressed. It starts at the level of the enterprise architecture. For instance, the Capgemini Integrated Architecture Framework 6 includes a sustainability perspective designed to provide sustainability KPIs methods, such as planned CO2 consumption correlated to hardware consumption (how much CO2 is consumed per microservice call).
At the application level, leveraging solutions that can scale up or down depending on usage is an efficient way not to waste resources, bring down CO2 consumption, and reduce cloud costs. Of course, auto-scaling solutions exist and include cloud native microservices, serverless solutions, and as-aservice and pay-as-you-use services.
At the data level, storing data multiple times in silos is an awful waste of energy and resources that can be avoided. But once simplified with a main data lake and the furniture of AI services on top, usage and data access will be easier, faster, with better freshness closer to the source, and provide enhanced insights that can lead to increased business benefits.
At the infrastructure level, moving from on-premise data centers to cloud providers can have a massive impact, as the latter increases the usage of renewable energy while constantly striving to improve energy efficiency. Out of cloud, the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing up several sustainability questions, and once again, partner technology will have a huge impact on energy usage.
Combining these elements will enable a far simplified mechanism for measuring and monitoring the carbon footprint of all business operations. This will require of course a dedicated application service, and soon compliance will come on top of it for regulation or tax purposes.
Last but not least, digital inclusion is about enabling society to access and benefit from the internet and digital services that it hosts. Reducing digital exclusion should be about rethinking access and simplifying existing services, by designing and selecting the right application frameworks that give access to everybody from day one. E-learning and knowledge management solutions are becoming more and more important in guiding employees to operate in this digital world. The use of smart search engines and digital teaching tools can reduce transition times and learning costs.