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Embracing DevOps: A Pathway to Ecological Responsibility and B Corp Ethos
28 July 2023
by Jean-Paul Lizotte

Introduction

In following Emyode’s initiative to become a more Ecologically Responsible company in 2020, I wanted to give you my own perspective on how each our roles can be affected and why it deserves our own particular attention.

As a fervent advocate of the DevOps philosophy, I’ve had the privilege to witness first-hand its (DevOps’) transformative potential: not just on organizational efficiency and profitability, but also on its promise for ecological responsibility and now, in the B Corp ethos*(definition). Yes, the world of information technology, so often regarded as immaterial and detached from nature’s realm, can contribute significantly to a sustainable, equitable world. Here’s how.

Understanding DevOps

First, let’s understand what DevOps is. It’s a cultural shift in how software development and operations teams collaborate, aiming to bridge the traditional divide between them. Through improved communication, collaboration, and integration, DevOps fosters faster, more efficient software delivery with fewer errors. But its reach extends far beyond productivity and quality improvements: when implemented consciously, DevOps practices can help reduce ecological footprints. It can also align with the values of certified B Corporations. Devops is most certainly an ethos of it’s own right, too!

Automation is key

A key tenet of DevOps is automation. By automating repetitive tasks and procedures, we reduce human error, improve consistency and speed, and, perhaps most importantly, reduce resource consumption. Instead of numerous servers running at partial capacity, DevOps utilizes cloud-based solutions and containerization to optimize server use. This virtualization means less physical hardware, less electricity consumed, and subsequently, fewer CO2 emissions – a major win for the environment.

The Agile ways to save

Furthermore, the iterative nature of DevOps ensures that instead of ‘big bang’ releases, we have smaller, more frequent deployments. This approach facilitates early bug detection and correction, decreasing the energy-intensive processes of fixing massive system crashes or extensive software flaws.

Devops And the B Corp Ethos

While this speaks to the eco-friendliness of DevOps, the philosophy, aligns equally well with the B Corp ethos. B Corporations are companies that balance purpose and profit, considering the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. DevOps, in its essence, can help foster these exact values.

It is also about our culture

The cultural transformation of DevOps creates an environment of collaboration and shared responsibility, making for happier, more engaged workers. It eliminates the ‘silo’ mentality, promoting communication and mutual support among teams. This results in a healthier workplace culture, which aligns with the B Corp commitment to workers.

Up and down the chain

Moreover, the customer is a central focus in DevOps. Through practices like continuous delivery and rapid feedback loops, DevOps allows companies to respond quickly to customer needs and enhance the user experience, contributing to the B Corp value of customer consideration.

Just as B Corps consider their suppliers, DevOps extends its collaborative practices to third-party providers, emphasizing mutual benefit and long-term relationships. As for community impact, well-executed DevOps can drastically reduce system downtime, ensuring services that many rely on stay functional, further adding value to the community.

Putting the key back in KPIs

The principle of measuring everything in DevOps, when applied to social and environmental factors, can help companies assess their impact more accurately and make data-driven improvements. This aligns with the B Corp’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as a DevOps advocate, I strongly believe in its power to not just improve software delivery but also to foster ecological responsibility and the values embodied by B Corps. By embracing DevOps, we can indeed make strides towards a sustainable, equitable future in the digital age.

It’s just another way of working smarter, not harder. Doing business with Emyode is not only a efficient and economical choice, but also one that will help ensure the perennity of our community, now and in the future.

It should be noted that at the moment of writing this article Emyode’s “B Corp” certification was under way and not yet completed.

About Ethos:

Ethos is a Greek word meaning “character” that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology.

In simpler terms, ethos can be understood as the ‘personality’ or ‘spirit’ of a group or organization. It’s like the collective “character” or “attitude” that defines how a group operates or behaves. It can include the shared values, motivations, and standards that members of the group agree upon and usually follow. Very much like DevOps itself: a collection of “good” practices.

For example, if a company has an ethos of innovation, it means that they value new ideas, encourage creative thinking, and strive to always be at the forefront of their industry. This ethos influences how they operate, make decisions, and treat their employees.