Object Management Group (OMG) announced Responsible Computing (RC), a new consortium comprised of technology innovators working together to address sustainable development goals.
Responsible computing is a systemic approach aimed at addressing current and future challenges in computing, including sustainability, ethics, and professionalism, stemming from the belief that we need to start thinking about technology in terms of its impact on people and the planet.
“Responsible Computing aims to shift thinking and, ultimately, behavior within the IT industry and affect real change,” said Bill Hoffman, Chairman, and CEO of RC and OMG. “We’ve made our manifesto and framework freely available, and we’ve asked every RC member to implement RC principles. Our goal is that someday every IT professional will adhere to RC principles.”
The new consortium’s manifesto defines RC values to restore trust in IT by responsibly applying technology and by sharing experiences with other organizations. These values include sustainability, inclusiveness, circularity, openness, authenticity, and accountability.
The consortium’s RC framework focuses on six domains of responsible computing, including:
Data centers – are designed and operated with a focus on efficiency and sustainability, including emphasizing green energy and improving the handling and disposal of chemicals, toxic materials, and rare metals.
More sustainable infrastructure – monitoring the energy usage of products and technologies. Efficient and more sustainable operations, including proper disposal of products.
Code – choosing code that optimizes environmental, social, and economic impact over time. Optimal code includes efficient algorithms, frameworks, and tools and KPIs to accelerate decision-making and pinpoint areas requiring more scrutiny during software development.
Data usage – the safe use of data will drive transparency, fairness, privacy, and respect for users.
Systems – that address bias and discrimination by driving equality for all, for example, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for transparency.
Impact – the technologies and innovations that drive a positive impact on society at large such as building to improve human conditions and mitigate social risk.
Through interviews with over 100 CTOs concerns were raised around developing practical actions to progress Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) programs. They wanted to contribute to becoming more sustainable businesses and demonstrate progress through consistent metrics.
In November 2020, IBM’s Academy of Technology (AoT)’s responded to these challenges and created the Responsible Computing Council, an international team of technology and computing leaders who collaborate in validation and the implementation of the RC framework and lead by example in becoming a responsible computing provider. Object Management Group (OMG) was an early member of the council, and shortly after that, the OMG board approved the formation of the RC consortium.
“Now is the time for companies to adopt a holistic approach that places sustainability strategy at the center of their business,” said Sheri Hinish, Global Lead, IBM Consulting Sustainability Services. “IBM is proud to be a founding member of the RC consortium. Through this collaboration, we hope to help companies establish new and innovative ways to transform their business operations through ethical, impactful ways that can help contribute to a more sustainable future.”
“Dell is proud to be a founding member of the RC consortium. We are aligned with and driven by a similar passion to help leading technology organizations realize their sustainable development goals, in line with the planet’s,” said Marc O’Regan, CTO EMEA, Dell Technologies. “In addition to being socially and environmentally responsible, we also expect that RC members will see improved go-to-market solutions, strategies and bottom-line results by following RC principles.”
An organization can become more operationally efficient and demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) when meeting sustainability goals. The ROI can potentially include:
- Reduced power consumption
- Waste reduction for packaging
- Cost-effective heating and cooling solutions
- Supply chain efficiency, and more
“As a college with almost 16,000 students and top-10 undergraduate and top-4 graduate program in the U.S., Purdue Engineering is excited to work with Dell, IBM, and other industry leaders in this new consortium of responsible computing,” said Mung Chiang, Executive VP and Dean of College of Engineering at Purdue University. “We particularly look forward to advancing technologies for user security, data privacy, freedom-preserving AI, and computing innovations that propel economic growth throughout society.”
“Technology plays an ever-increasing role across all industries and can unlock many benefits in terms of efficiency, sustainability, and wider society. But we need to be careful about deploying technology to make sure that we harvest the benefits without exposing ourselves to unintended consequences,” said Jim Morrish, Founding Partner, Transforma Insights. “AI deployed to support building automation can unlock significant energy savings, to name one example, but we need to ensure this isn’t at the cost of individual privacy. Transforma Insights looks forward to working with the wider technology ecosystem to ensure society gains the maximum benefit from new and emerging technologies.”
Rob Deri, Chief Executive at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said: “BCS became a groundbreaking member of Responsible Computing because our membership community shares the belief that technology can and must drive positive change in society. We are proud to be part of an international coalition that prioritizes the role of IT in understanding and reducing climate change, closing the digital divide, promoting equality of opportunity and growing public trust in tech through global professional standards.”
“Changing how we manage Information and technology infrastructures is crucial to reducing carbon emissions and securing climate justice,” said Prof. Jamie Cross, Director, Edinburgh Earth Initiative, University of Edinburgh. “The University of Edinburgh, the UK’s nationally leading centre for supercomputing and globally-leading hub for data-driven innovations, artificial intelligence and data science, is delighted to join this global initiative to promote responsible computing. We are excited to work together across the Responsible Computing consortium to deliver transformational positive change that can only be achieved through novel technologies, approaches, and alliances.”
RC spans a broad cross-section of industries, including consumer, financial services, travel and transport, insurance, government, energy, environment & utilities, telco and media, and industrial verticals.