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Sustainability and tech: 3 trends shaping the digital landscape in Yorkshire

Last week saw key influencers from the Leeds city region tech scene meet up for a dinner as a fringe event to the Leeds Digital Festival mini festival taking place this week. 


The dinner, supported by Ward Hadaway and ourselves, in association with Leeds Digital Festival, was the opportunity to exchange ideas on key themes within the sector. Sustainability was a key topic discussed. Here's our three key takeaways from the event. 

1. Sustainability matters - and affects investment opportunities

Sustainability is a hot topic. In fact, content published on LinkedIn relating to the subject has increased by 197% since January 2022. Being able to show ‘green credentials’ is increasingly important for all businesses, and tech is no exception. It is certainly something that a potential investor would look for and is likely to be a prerequisite to securing future investment. Increasingly customers are also demanding transparency on the subject from their suppliers.  

2. Tech businesses must continue to reduce their carbon footprint 

There is a tendency to think that moving all systems to the Cloud (i.e. onto platforms delivered by major cloud services providers such as AWS) is the answer. However it is not always that simple. Cloud services providers and data-centres are very significant users to energy in their own right and so there is a danger that companies simply pass the problem to somebody else without any net saving in energy usage. 

The answer is careful analysis and planning. Generally, when it comes to computing resources, energy consumption correlates closely to cost. So as a rule of thumb, if businesses are able to set-up their systems in the most cost effective way this is also likely to result in energy savings too (win-win). Cloud service and data-centre providers are also coming under increased scrutiny in terms of their own green credentials, so think carefully about your provider.

3. Legacy software can be bad for the environment

The way software is developed can have a significant impact on the environment. For example, old legacy software with modifications and updates bolted on, may work, but can soon become very inefficient in how much demand it places on hardware and therefore how much energy it consumes to run.

A number of the companies involved in software development are actively encouraging and training their developers to create energy efficient and sustainable software. 

They are also encouraging some customers to consider redeveloping older software to make it more energy efficient. This will generally have the additional benefits of reducing costs and creating a better user experience, but improved sustainability is a significant motivation in its own right.

To find out more and tap into legal, tech talent acquisition or communications expertise in Yorkshire's tech sector, get in touch with Bill Goodwin (Ward Hadaway), Andrew Maeer (Amsource) or Stuart Clarke (Leeds Digital Festival).

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