Sustainable IT and Quality Engineering

Zarka Sultana
Principal Consultant (Software Quality Engineer)
Automatic Summary

The Sustainable IT and QE World: A Journey To Green Technology

Hello everyone! Thanks for joining me on this journey as we delve deep into the exciting and increasingly critical world of Sustainable Information Technology and Quality Engineering (QE). Ever heard of the term 'Earth Overshoot Day'? It's the day humanity exhausts the entire biological resources that our planet generates for a given year. With the growing concerns over climate change and increasing energy demands, we need to adopt practices that push back this 'overshoot' day.

As a quality engineer at SOT UK and a part of Cap Gemini, I work daily on improving the digital products' quality whilst also being conscious of sustainability and reduced carbon emission. In this piece, we will discuss certain key points related to sustainable IT, green IT, and quality engineering.

Understanding Digital Carbon Footprint

Our lives are increasingly moving towards the digital realm. Simple tasks such as browsing the internet or using phone data to more complex procedures like attending a conference - everything runs on electricity. Research indicates a 3.3% global energy consumption by these digital activities, expected to triple by 2025. Hence, businesses and individuals must consciously contribute to reducing the global IT carbon footprint from user devices to data centers and networks.

The Challenges in Implementing Sustainability

Implementing sustainability in IT involves a fair share of challenges:

  1. Lack of Awareness
  2. Lack of standard tools
  3. Limited domain expertise
  4. High cost of setting up sustainable infrastructure
  5. Identifying correct use-cases to invest in

The primary objective of this blog is to increase awareness and find ways to overcome these challenges.

Embracing Sustainable IT And Its Principles

Sustainable IT involves the environment-friendly design, use, and disposal of computer hardware and software, factoring in business processes. It is about integrating sustainability into the quality engineering process and minimising environmental impact. Some key aspects include environmental durability, software energy efficiency, implementation, deployment, and operation.

Applying a three-dimensional approach to measure IT carbon sustainability, we consider Environmental, Economic, and Social consequences:

  • Environmental Carbon Footprint: Energy consumption, CO2 emissions
  • Economic Consequences: Costs, revenues, technical debt
  • Social Consequences: The impact of IT on individuals, groups, and society as a whole

Green IT: A Step Towards Sustainability

Green IT aims at making tech solutions more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. While it is an essential component of sustainability, the latter is broader, considering the entire tech ecosystem.

As a business strategy, we should aim at growth with sustainability by design, reduce energy use, resource consumption, and technical debt, while ensuring mission-critical systems' resilience.

Sustainability in Software Characteristics and Testing

Incorporating sustainability requirements into software development and testing minimises its environmental, economic, and social impact. It promotes continuous improvement, extensibility, scalability, and energy efficiency and integrates environmentally-friendly practices into the testing process.

Building awareness about carbon sustainability is integral to our work culture, monitoring KPIs based on sustainability requirements coverage, ensuring data management policies, and automating redundant and inefficient test scripts can all significantly contribute to the overall testing efficiency.

Quality Engineering For Sustainable IT: A Three-Dimensional Roadmap

Quality assurance in IT delivery teams is no longer just about the traditional characteristics but also the environmental, social, and economic dimensions:

  • Environmental Dimension: Sustainable test design and test execution
  • Social Dimension: Accessibility testing, testing as per standard
  • Economic Dimension: Maintainability and sustainable architectural design

While the road to sustainable it may seem challenging, it is a journey we must embark on for a healthier, safer environment. At the end of the day, collective action, bolder leadership, and smarter technologies are all we need to propel us towards a sustainable future.


The impact of sustainable IT is positive and far-reaching. As our Quality Report 2022-23 study shows, the heightened focus on quality improves resource utilisation, directly impacting climate improvement and carbon footprint reduction. Let's work together to ensure that technology acts not as an environmental burden, but an aid towards achieving a sustainable future.

Feel free to reach out in case you have queries or require further clarification on the points discussed.

Thank you!

End of the transcript from the session.

Video Transcription

Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining my session and I hope you all are enjoying and learning a lot. Um The conference from the conference uh Let you uh let's take a tour. Uh Let's take a tour with me to the Sustainable It and QE World.Have you ever heard of Arthur was your day? When, when all the biological um when old are the consumes all the biological? Um When the humanity used all the biological resources that art generates during the entire year, you can view your countries out of a day from the global footprint network. I can share the link later on. I'm based in UK and the slide here shows that 19th of May falls for after a day in the UK. In just seven days from today, the UK will run out all the biological resources are to regenerate throughout the year. So you see climate change has over consequences like this. Uh But the past does not always determine our future. If we act today, our overshoot day can be pushed back by decarbonizing, uh decarbonizing the power and improving the energy efficiency of existing structure. I'm a quality engineer at so T UK and uh part of Cap Gemini and my everyday work involves improving the quality of digital products. I believe managing information technology sustainably is about the best practices in it.

Throughout this short presentation, I will give you an overview of sustainable it, green it, quality engineering and also how we can all contribute to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption together. Let's see some uh it significant environmental impact of it has. I'm sure you all will agree with me that our lives are complete. Uh increasingly digital. We use uh browsing internet, uh mobile phone data center attending this conference to um everything we uh all run on electricity. Research shows that it environmental impact is 3.3% of global energy consumption and expected to increase three times by 2025. So you can see it carbon footprint will be equivalent of running 462 million of um um vehicles um driven by year for a year or 2 56 million homes, electricity usage per year as a business and as an individual, we all contribute to the global it carbon footprint from user device to data center and networks.

Uh Let's look at before I um dive into sustainable it topic more. Let's look at the challenges um we face when implementing sustainability. Um Lack of RNS is the main uh my today's uh presentation is to build ins and also you can see some standard uh tools lack of standard tools and uh domain expertise also high cost um setting up sustainable infrastructure, identifying correct use cases to invest in also a challenge.

Now, let's have a look at what is sustainable it and how it incorporates digital quality engineering principles. Sustainable. It is environmental friendly design use and disposal of computer hardware and software and business process that accompany it in quality engineering sustainability, aimed at minimizing environmental impact of business process, it systems that force them and infrastructure that force them.

In addition, it highlights on environmental power durability, energy efficiency in software and software design, um implementation, deployment, operation and maintenance and retirement. We use three dimensional um with quality engineering approach to measure it carbon sustainability.

They are environmental economic and social environmental carbon footprint is like energy consumption CO2 emissions. Um economic consequences are costs revenues, technical debt and the social is impact how it influences as individual, as a group and the society as a whole. Let's look at the some stats about environmental footprint across all layers of from this slide, you can see that uh virtual servers and networks generate a lower carbon footprint compared to office equipment usage and hardware grade 80 versus sustainability. Green. It also used in the context of sustainability.

The goal of green, it is to make the solution more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Having said that uh compared to green, it sustainable, it is more comprehensive, taking into account the broader ecosystem and life cycle. Key green quality objectives are driven by business priorities are growth with sustainability by design, reduce energy use resource consumption and technology and uh technical debt. Ensure the resilience of mission critical systems to achieve these objectives. With quality engineering test management approach introduced a voice model that is value objectives, indicators, confidence and experience. The voice model identifies objectives such as building an energy efficient resource optimal it system and specifies indicators to track kps and to gain user confidence in it systems that achieve business value. Let's look, let's look at the sustainability in uh software characteristics and testing how it is.

I work on software development and testing life cycle projects. So while designing a new application, the team I work with like solution architect, developer, business analyst, quality engineer, we all look at the right quality from the start with specific sustainability requirements to design, develop test software to minimize its environmental economic and social impact that I mentioned earlier.

So you say that um sustainability as a result, um maintainability that is continuous implement extensibility, scalability, energy efficiency are included in the software development and testing life cycle as part of sustainable testing software, um environmentally friendly and ethical practices are incorporated throughout the testing process.

This involves preparing test scripts that include measuring sustainability, reducing the amount of test data and minimizing energy intensive testing process. These all activities add value to the entire business to create more resource efficient and responsible application. Now, let's look at sustainability testing objectives.

First, we can we need to um adopt sustainability in our work culture, continuous communication to build awareness about the reduction of carbon sustainability and uh integrating green it practice into company culture in QE and testing continuous review update, optimize testing efficiency uh for continuous improvement monitor KPIS based on the percentage of test cases covering sustainability requirements, test data management that is also to delete the data reports and uh or you can automate the purging of obsolete test data by using synthetic data generation tools to create realistic test data, avoiding um privacy risk, maintain data retention policies as well.

In terms of uh test tooling and test environment, we can create a sustainability checklist for selecting and um evaluating tools, install automated energy resource and performance monitoring system. Ensure that test environments we are no longer using enters sleep mode, all shut down automatically to save energy test, auto commission. The last one is to decide whether to automate the testing or do the manual testing. Then uh to implement a continuous integration um system test to run automated testing um efficiently. By using code review process, you can reduce redundant and inefficient test uh scripts. With all these practices in Q we can improve overall uh testing efficiency by 20 to 30%.

And we'll also contribute to 5 to 7% reduction in the overall carbon footprint of QET. Now look at the sustainability as a nonfunctional requirements, but operational performance is the key to it. Sustainability same. It is with the quality engineering and testing highlighting three areas. Here.

First is software um life cycle. How we can test a software uh to ensure it meets expectation and improve um performance that is also comes with continuous maintenance and improvement, correcting um defects, adapting to changes in requirement and uh also comes with continuous testing.

Next is the software ecosystem profitability allowing application to adapt to evolving technologies. Uh that is able to transfer one hardware to software um from one hardware to software to another. And interoperability is exchange information and work collaboratively with other systems or components.

Compatibility is of course, software's ability to run on different platforms, operating systems and devices ensuring that it will remain relevant over time. Last we can talk about software in use that is performance efficiency, utilizing resources efficiently run. Um Let me give you an example like uh run automation testing overnight or the week in the weekend. Uh reduce over testing. Usual ability is uh using to learn and use um promoting long term usual um satisfaction in case of reliability. For example, I can say that uh in uh in during the fall tolerance or after recovery functionality of an application runs as intended security also um maintaining trust, reducing risk by protecting against unauthorized access and data breaches. Now see the quality engineering for the sustainable it for three dimensional roadmap, you can see from the slide here that environmental dimension, we can uh test sustainable test, we can do sustainable test, design and test execution. Social dimension is about accessibility, testing and test as per standard and economic dimension is maintainability and architecture and design sustainability. In Q A is one of the important factor for the it delivery team is considering today. And along with you can see with other traditional quality characteristics as well. So this is just the beginning in uh beginning of our quality engineering journey into sustainability. With the time uh research and development will bring more maturity in future.

There is uh something I would like to share about from our world Quality Report 2022 23 study. Uh The statistics is uh about the positive impact of sustainable it in short term. Uh The question was asked that uh um what tactical benefits quality can bring to sustainable it. You can see the response from the um screen that organizations mostly refer to cloud computing, test, optimization and resource efficiency. In general application performance and customer experience came in last. This shows the higher quality is the only way to improve resource utilization which has a direct impact to improve and impact to improve our climate and reducing carbon footprints. The focus on quality will also help improve the overall maturity framework for defining measuring, controlling the implement of all aspects of environmental, social and economic of sustainable it to achieve a sustainable future. We must take collective action, be bolder in the leadership and implement smarter technologies.

Thank you for listening. Please feel free to ask any questions or connect me via linkedin if you have any further queries. Thank you. Uh I stop sharing now if you have any question. Thank you, Devia. Thank you for joining.