Evaluate and improve the footprint of digital services


Yves Dolo is a technical manager at Digital for better and is the CTO at Fruggr. In this article, he discusses evaluating and improving the footprint of digital services.

When we think of digital services, we think of the environmental impact. But we have to think of the little visible impacts and public opinion. 17% of French people do not know how to use digital services. Digital services use 10% of the world’s electricity. For a positive impact, a digital service should be able to work on all devices. It should work on a lower bandwidth to be more accessible. It will be more economic if more customers can use the same service.

Fruggr is the solution for assessing and improving digital platforms’ environmental and social footprint. It is a SaaS solution. Our measurement is –

  • Multi-footprint – Environmental, Social, Sobriety
  • Multi-criteria – LCA of flows with GHG, Water, Electricity, and Resources

We can use several tools like Lighthouse from Google or SonarQube to collect data and metrics. The engine then calculates the costs. The calculations are based on rules from different sources.

An assessment of environmental impacts

The assessment of environmental impacts is based on the 1-byte model of the Swift Project. It tracks energy consumption, GHG, and Water impacts. It considers the size of extended data, the size of a page of an imager, and network extension.

This model works in two steps. The first step is the progression of the quantity of data or time spent into energy, and the second step is converting this energy into carbon emission.

It evaluates conversions to energy from data centers, telecommunication networks for Wi-Fi, landline and mobile network, terminals, mobile devices, and computers.

An assessment of social impacts

We define the social aspect of digital service’s impact as analyzing accessibility, inclusiveness, and ethics such as GDPR. Is your service designed with core principles such as perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust? Can a person with disabilities use your service? Are security rules respected?

This can be verified by analyzing that security rules are followed. Fruggr analyzes developed code to check for potential security flaws. Fruggr can assess only 57% of the aspects because all aspects cannot be automated. For example, contrast perception is assessed by humans. Fruggr checks the compatibility of the service with a common process. Our digital services and content must be accessible to every user based on authorization.

An assessment of sobriety impacts

Sobriety means the service should have useful, usable, and used functionalities. Fruggr assesses digital impacts from the perspective of sobriety. It measures

  • Technical impacts – performances and technical debt
  • Functional impacts – 25% of applications developed were never used
  • Design impacts

Technical sobriety score allows us to evaluate if all the code is used, is not too long, and the code’s quality. You can then remove unusable code and increase the digital service’s quality.

Functional score seeks to evaluate the usefulness, usability, and use of the functionality offered by a digital service. So, use means has the page has ever been viewed; usability considers if the data has been accessed, and the use of functionality criteria checks if the functionality is as expected by the user.

The design score corresponds to good development practices.

Web and mobile services

Fruggr analyzes web and mobile services. It checks authentication with Active Directory. It audits end-to-end functionality. It is also possible to focus on a subset of pages.

You will be able to carry out functional auditing in subsequent releases.

Recommendations and improvements

To improve the impact on different themes (environmental, social, ethical), Fruggr proposes concrete technical and functionality recommendations that project teams can implement. Fruggr also analyzes scores over a period of time. Regular analysis can be scheduled once a day, weekly, or monthly. This will ensure continuous improvement.

Yves Dolo

Yves Dolo

Responsable Technique at Digital4Better

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