Firm's can now find out how environmentally friendly their software is thanks to a new Green IT index

New index assesses green credentials of software

A new index designed to help companies identify environmentally sustainable software, has been launched today.

Software analysis and measurement technology provider CAST’s Green IT Index uses standard rules of software quality to identify poor architectural and coding practices that are known to waste resources and measure the extent to which applications are affected by these problems.

The index is expressed as a number between 1 and 4, with a score of 4 indicating that an application does not violate any of the standard programming rules CAST applies to evaluate the environmental sustainability of software.

A study conducted on the company’s database of more than 1,800 enterprise applications from around the world found that the average score was 2.63, with some applications clocking up more than 200,000 violations. Only 2.5 per cent of applications analysed scored 3.9 or higher.

“To date, much of ‘green IT’ has focused on hardware, because the environmental impact of software has been very hard to measure,” said Lev Lesokhin, CAST’s executive vice president of strategy and market development.

“With the new Green IT Index, CIOs can now for the first time objectively measure how the performance of each application affects their carbon footprint, and ultimately, their bottom line.”

Users of the firm’s Application Intelligence Platform now have the option to add a Green IT Index to the service’s application analytics dashboard allowing them to monitor the environmental effects of their application portfolio in real time.

According to CAST, the most significant inefficiencies result from very large enterprise software with components that interact through multiple layers of technology making it difficult for individual developers to know how the code they modified or introduced affects the overall efficiency and robustness of the application.

This lack of visibility to overall software system impact is further exacerbated by the trend of deploying service-oriented architecture, which introduces even more layers of abstraction.

The impact of software’s energy consumption differs depending on hardware, operating system configuration, and programming languages used, according to CAST, but the impact will still be noticeable.

“Inefficient programming uses hardware resources wastefully, even causing outages. This can impact a firm’s carbon footprint in a significant way, especially when it happens repeatedly,” said Olivier Bonsignour, CAST’s senior vice president of product development.

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