Quantifying the Business Value of Greener Software

Feb 7, 2024 | Quantifying the Business Value of Greener Software

One of my favorite quotes is, “Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing,” by Warren Bennis, a well-known author on leadership studies. The thing I love most about this quote is that sometimes we need to act like “managers” and sometimes we need to act like “leaders” when making business decisions—it’s not always one or the other. When faced with a difficult decision in a business situation, I often find myself referring to this quote from my business school days, asking myself, “Do I want to be a leader or a manager in this situation?” This usually helps me choose better (or at least makes me feel better about my choice…😊).

This got me thinking about the new software intelligence capability we recently released as a beta in CAST Highlight called the CO2 Emission Estimator, building on last year’s Green Software Insights. My hope is that this innovation helps more organizations step up to be leaders in making their software greener, because it’s the right thing to do for our planet.

Greener software – the right thing to do

Since releasing Green Software Insights, we’ve experienced significant interest and excitement from organizations that wanted to leverage its insights to make their software greener and support emerging ESG reporting requirements. However, the adoption of Green Software practices has varied quite dramatically from one region to another. In Europe for example, many organizations take a leadership role as they truly believe it’s the right thing to do for our planet, the financial implications being secondary. In the United States I believe we’re behind in adopting Green Software practices. I’ve heard in more than one meeting with large U.S. enterprise companies that Green Software Insights are “interesting,” but they needed a more tangible business justification to utilize these insights to make their software greener. In other words, they were operating like “managers.” Although this was disappointing to hear, it drove us to invest in Green Software Insights in CAST Highlight and make them more tangible.

Making Green Software Insights tangible

Over the course of the last year, we conducted an internal study using Green Software Insights to optimize software and make it greener. By measuring the performance improvements after removing green deficiencies from application source code, we were able to develop a model that could be used to estimate the potential reduction in CO2 emissions and energy consumption when fixing the green deficiencies automatically detected by CAST Highlight across an application portfolio. This ultimately resulted in the new CO2 Emission Estimator capability we introduced in CAST Highlight as a beta release in the winter 2024 product release.

This capability estimates the potential reduction in CO2 emissions and energy consumption if green deficiencies are fixed across an application portfolio. The calculation is based on a combination of automatically generated insights and user-configurable parameters like the number of servers, server utilization, energy demand, and more. When using this capability, organizations will be able to estimate the actual real-world impact of their green software practices including potential CO2 emissions reduction in kg per year and energy consumption reduction in kilowatts per year. Energy consumption has a direct impact on an organization’s bottom line and demonstrates the tangible business value of greener software.

By delivering this capability, our hope is that it will make it easier for organizations globally to take a leadership role in making their software greener, because it is the right thing to do…😊

See here for all of the new capabilities included in the CAST Highlight winter 2024 release.