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Sustainability, Green IT and Functional Safety - an Antagonism?

OEM&Lieferant | Oktober 2022

Developing products and projects in a sustainable manner is becoming one of the most important challenges for all of humanity in the 21st century in order to respond to climate change and the careful use of resources. Even small changes, ideas and thoughts can contribute a lion's share to more sustainability and thus future viability. One example is the reduction of peak loads in the operation of the company's own development systems by shifting tasks to after-work hours or using the energy-saving mode not only for the company's own work equipment but also for the company-wide data center.

The Sustainability/Green IT department is not solely concerned with software development, but looks at the entire product life cycle and is particularly concerned with the longevity of products, the use of sustainable materials, and sustainability in production and development, i.e., resource management, power management, type and layout of data centers, recycling, and efficient development processes.

In contrast, the Functional Safety department focuses on reducing risks to life and limb to an "acceptable" level. It deals with requirements for development processes, production, commissioning and decommissioning, as well as measures to minimize the number and impact of random hardware faults in the product.

It can be seen that the two disciplines are not diametrically opposed to each other, but have some common intersection. Among the most important commonalities are:

Establishing efficient processes, including for change management, with the main focus on the guiding principle: "Develop the project right from the start." An agile approach to development is conducive to this, i.e., the customer's requirements are not implemented "stubbornly" until the finished product, but the customer is involved in the ongoing development through co-creation. In this way, the project can be adapted ad hoc to new requirements and changed ideas of the customer.
Use of resource-saving algorithms and the considered allocation of resources by anchoring requirements and guidelines, e.g. coding and design guidelines, in the development process.
efficient use of resources, which includes power management for development equipment and data storage for document management.
While the current development models and processes, such as the Scrum/V model or (A-)SPICE, still obscure aspects of sustainability and green IT, infoteam is already one step ahead with its employees: lectures on the topic of green IT are held at the internal OpenSpace in order to raise awareness of the topic among employees. In addition, infoteam implements projects together with the customer and follows the agile approach with efficient processes.

Conclusion: Green IT and functional security are not mutually exclusive. Rather, both approaches have a large common intersection in the goals they pursue.

Published in "OEM&Lieferant" - click here for the online articel (in German only).


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Angela Ringlein, Marketing Communications Manager


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