Green Software Services

Given a significant amount of CO2 emission is caused by ICT, several efforts are geared towards making this sector more energy efficient – e.g., a huge amount of R&D resources are being allocated to make ICT systems and their use environmentally friendly, or so-called Green IT. Apart from a few exceptions, most of the resources have been dedicated to efforts aimed at achieving green IT through making hardware and data-centers more energy efficient. There has been little effort dedicated to make software energy efficient – designing and evolving software services which not only help make all kinds of ICT systems energy efficient but also themselves are environmentally friendly but are also produced and consumed through environmentally friendly and energy efficient means. Such software services have been named, Green Software Services (GSS). With software becoming an increasingly significant part of most of the systems in our daily life, it can be argued that there is an urgent and important need of broadening the scope of the ICT energy efficiency research and education to design and produce so-called Green Software Services, if we want to achieve the EU member states’ goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 with 20% compared to 1990.
I postulate that one way of contributing to the goal of making software servicer green is to educate our future generation of software engineers and ICT professionals in designing and evolving green software services by providing them with the required understanding, knowledge, and skills in designing, developing, and evolving energy efficient software services, so-called green software services. More specifically, we need to educate our software development students in develop methods, approaches, metrics, and tools to support the development of green architectures of ICT applications. A course on designing and evolving green software design will enable the students to gain the knowledge and skills in applying more structural approaches to software design for increasing energy efficiency, progressing beyond incremental gains. I have been working with a few colleagues from the Netherlands and UK on putting together a research agenda on making green software services. With these colleagues, we plan to set up a new project which will enable us to work on that research agenda. Recently, I have also started brainstorming with a few colleagues about developing a curriculum for a course on designing and evolving green software services. If you have interest in this topic or a comment about the suitability of such a course for an academic or industrial audience, please drop me a few lines.