Best Practices What software management can do to help promote sustainability

18. September 2020 – Hirsa Navid
What software management can do to help promote sustainability

With their contribution to this year's  Confare CIO Summit, held under the motto, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, on the subject of the particular responsibility of CIOs for acting sustainably in the economy, Relicense showed corporate decision makers a way for ideas such as sustainability and resource protection to also find their manifestation in software management.

Earth Overshoot Day

The concept of an "Earth Overshoot Day" should serve to illustrate the urgency of activities on all levels governed by such principles most impressively. This special date marks the day of an ongoing year, on which the usage of renewable primary products exceeds their natural reproduction. The earlier this day occurs in the course of the year, the more the preservation of our livelihood's foundations will be threatened.

Following this aspect, our planet's resources were first overloaded in 1970. In that year, the Overshoot Day was on December 29th. The EOD date of last year reveals how dramatic the development has-been in the course of the following 50 years: It was July 29th. In this year, the date has moved back by around one month. Unfortunately, however, this is no indication for a sustainable trend reversal but rather a result of an additional global disaster: the Corvid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown of entire national economies.

Resource conservation needed on all levels

As a consequence, effective resource conservation measures are of vital importance. Putting raw materials and energy needed for manufacturing, use,  and consumption of industrially produced goods to work prudently and sustainably is what matters. But not only major factors such as reducing the use of fossile fuels, minimising pollutant emissions, avoiding harmful packing materials, or cutting down on transport distances, are the ones that can contribute to mastering this global challenge. Countless other measures, that might appear insignificant at first sight, can also contribute their part—even if that should only be a spirited expression of a badly needed paradigm shift.

As good as new: digital recycling

Employing software in a sustainable way can make a small contribution of this kind as well. This industry is also one to offer alternatives to a throw-away attitude with all its negative implications. So instead of turning to your manufacturer habitually and asking for costly new licenses whenever the need arises it might well be worth the effort to consider looking around on the market for so-called used software. This "digital recycling" offers the benefit of coming with significant cost advantages for products showing no difference in functionality whatsoever compared to new software. This also means that organisations can not only act as buyers of pre-owned software, of course. They can make a profit by selling no longer needed software as well—after moving to a cloud based solution or in the course of a merger or acquisition. When buying or selling software in this way, it is advisable, however, to consider securing the assistance of an organisation that specialises in operations of this kind such as Relicense for processing the transaction. This can help with making sure that all legal and formal prerequisites are being met completely.

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