Operating systems for sustainability

The first semester of 2012 is nearly gone, and a new president has been elected in France. « The change is now. » But how to make change happen using only the tools we have at our disposal? What are the operating systems we could currently use for running our much-needed sustainability software? In fact, many industrial processes and organizations will have to be completely redefined in order to meet the coming harsh environment and energy challenges. But this deep change could be made possible by leveraging resources already existing in companies. How? Here are a few ideas.

By taking into account, through better data analytics, environmental aspects that were previously ignored, companies will be able to estimate more accurately the external costs and benefits of day-to-day operations. These detailed models will rely on dynamic and distributed information provided by third-parties, thus requiring information infrastructures to cross companies’ borders and reach out to other organizations, at a local and global scale, making web-oriented architecture a de facto standard for enterprise applications. In return, this inter-organizational data sharing will foster more sustainable, thus more resilient business ecosystems, able to manage their operations more efficiently, in spite of recurring crises during a transition period of several decades.

The change is now? This promise could become real faster than we think if we start turning existing information technology and resources, in and outside companies, into operating systems for sustainability, therefore providing solid ground for developing next-generation businesses that make everybody better off: their customers, their employees and shareholders, the societies and ecosystems we are living in. The change is now!

(Adaptation française de cet article publiée sur GreenIT.fr.)