Maria H. Blake
Sustainable Software Engineering: Why Real Estate & Construction Companies Need it
In this Article:
1. Meeting Sustainable Development Goals
2. How to Integrate Sustainable Approach Into Software Design Process
2.2. Backend Part
2.3. Frontend Part
Believe me or not, but sustainability is everywhere. Recently Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon, called the synergy of human, society, economy, and environment among top business trends in 2022. Potential partners check your sustainable reporting before negotiation. Customers estimate your contribution to the green future. Governments obligate you to reduce carbon footprint, energy & water consumption, etc. It seems like pressure from the outside.
So it will be reasonable to ask what exactly the sustainability concept can bring to businesses, particularly, to the real estate & construction companies.
Sustainability is a guarantee of transparency and optimization of your processes. It will help cut the time2market period by an accurate and accelerated development cycle. Less development time, less spent resources. It applies to both investment and person-hours.
Moreover, such an approach can save lives. It protects your employees and customers from accidents, emergencies, etc. It will shape your brand as an employer, service provider, and partner. That's why large international companies tend to do business only with eco-friendly enterprises.
And last but not least - by saving the planet, you save everything: customers, employees, business.
How to Integrate Sustainable Approach Into Software Design Process
Preparation & Analysis
Software development is almost the last link in this approach implementation. Before you initiate the creation of green digital products, you should completely transform the way all back-office departments work and create sustainable corporate policies.
Then you should check your suppliers well for their involvement in the sustainability concept. The case is you need to purchase green equipment for sustainable software development. It is not so easy to do since you have to analyze all the data concerning product creation.
When the hardware has already been purchased, the processes are established, and nothing can interfere with the optimized software development cycle - start creating requirements for your digital product. Do not forget that they must be consistent with sustainability principles.
In this case, a development requires pre-development design solution testing to make sure it will really be sustainable.
As seen, the development cycle here has a protracted preparation & analysis stage. Otherwise, it is very similar to the process of creating any conventional digital solution.
To be honest, it's not rocket science. Now almost every company uses must-have instruments for sustainability in ordinary software creation. For example, modern technologies. Well, you could say it's an engine of progress. Undoubtedly. But with the right approach, Industry 4.0 technologies will support product vitality and work to the benefit of the 4 sustainability concept pillars.
One more great way to get a green digital product is to opt for a microservice architecture. Sooner or later, businesses conclude that monoliths are inefficient because of high component dependencies and agility absence. In turn, the microservices ensure the software's flexibility, allowing a company to update a solution at any time and manner.
And last but not least - don’t miss the open-source Rapid Application Development tools. Real estate developers usually use vendor-lock ones to create robust solutions faster. But such instruments do not give the desired freedom.
While an open-source feature allows implementing new ideas without any obstacles. For example, a famous construction company, owning over 1 mln facilities worldwide, used the XME.fast code platform to monetize firmware service for smart home software. Due to the platform's flexibility, the developer could implement its initiative, transforming the business model, improving the house owners' experience and receiving a sustainable solution as a pleasant bonus.
Do you know what happens to awkwardly designed software? It goes on the shelf to other legacy products regardless of their date of birth.
So, why cannot we call a digital product with a complex interface sustainable?
Let's imagine you are a lucky owner of a smart house. The developer offered to purchase an IoT solution for convenient devices & sensors management. It would seem that everything is fine. Modern technologies - done, microservice architecture - done. The construction company even used RAD instruments to deliver software on a tight schedule. But the web app interface is incomprehensible.
First, you may try to learn how it works. But later, you just won't use the app at all. In other words, the software will not perform the purpose it was developed for.
As a householder, you wasted money on the purchase.
As a construction developer, you made an unjustified investment.
From an economic point of view, this software usage is inefficient.
And finally, about the environment. If nobody uses the software, energy consumption, carbon emissions from heating, and the risk of accidents will not disappear anywhere.
Thus, don’t neglect design, building a sustainable product. To achieve the goal it’s enough to create it for real users.
If you still have questions, drop us a line and receive advice on how to prepare your business to change in favour of sustainability.