The announcement of a new program of the Object Management Group  called Responsible Computing was reported here last May. This news fleshes out the skeleton of the announcement through work of the inaugural meeting on June 29, 2022 that established six working groups defining their focus. Responsible Computing is a new consortium comprising technology innovators working together to address sustainable development goals.

Stephen Mellor, Executive Vice-President of OMG and CTO of Responsible Computing, said, “We have all heard about sustainability, but how often have you seen a request for proposal that set energy usage requirements or placed limits on ‘dark data? Responsible Computing will address these issues and more. The inaugural meeting set the stage for sustained work in multiple areas.”

Details of Six Working Groups

Data Center Working Group concentrates first on the building to reduce environmental impact with more efficient strategy and design, migrate to renewable energy sources, monitor consumption, and carbon footprint and optimize the reuse of waste from cooling and production. This working group will produce webinars, white papers, and best practice papers to help the IT community be net-zero by 2030 in compliance with UN SDGs.

Infrastructure Working Group realizes greater efficiencies with infrastructure (computers, networks, data centers) designed to deliver high-performing sustainable operations, consolidate workloads that peak at different times to increase efficient use of resources, and obtain high utilization levels. This working group will produce webinars, success stories, and best practice papers to reuse technology, reduce electronic waste, and create a circular economy.

Code Working Group is to align teams on software architecture, technology, programming language, and platform with anticipating and monitoring the total costs of running, supporting, and maintaining applications. It will produce white papers to help developers balance the trade-offs between accuracy, speed, and expense, including energy consumption, addressing the hidden energy impact of code, reducing data duplication, and improving cybersecurity. The group will also implement sustainability maturity assessment tools and KPIs to accelerate decision-making and pinpoint areas requiring more scrutiny during software development. There will also be ongoing training and workshops to reinforce shared sustainability goals to heighten team awareness of these issues.

Data Usage Working Group certifies that data is high quality. The group also works to ensure that organizations can trust processes and people, thereby reducing errors and misinterpretation of data by advocating intelligent workflows that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning. The group will develop robust policies, guidelines, and practices for data governance (e.g., maintaining lineage and explainability), ongoing data usage risk assessment and risk mitigation, incident response, and data-breach remediation. It will also show organizations how to manage data lifecycle with accountable data-retention and destruction practices.

Systems Working Group will ensure that systems employ an integrated set of technologies to serve people by building ethical, privacy-preserving, secure, and resilient systems. Organizations must design systems with the environment, individuals, society, and future. Responsible systems are designed with a three-layered approach to include a cultural ethos across the entire supporting organization, forensic technology that can monitor and detect issues to enable trust, and governance requirements to which the entire organization adheres. This working group will help organizations maintain the integrity of internal systems, achieve compliance with internal and external standards, ongoing monitoring to ensure companies develop and use responsible systems and reinforce corporate social responsibility to close the digital divide.

Impact Working Group will work to offset the impact on the planet in the categories of ESG and level the playing field through sustainability, circularity, diversity, inclusion, climate, openness, and ethics. Six prime and measurable maturity characteristics represent the ability to achieve responsible impact: goal setting, scalability, replicability, socially responsible business model and strategy, and quantifiable and traceable to a UN SDG (United Nations Sustainability Development Goal).

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.

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