In an effort to become a leader in sustainable IT, Scania will collaborate with Amazon Web Services (AWS) on a year-long project beginning in June 2021.
An Environmentally Friendly and Efficient IT Solution
A holistic approach to sustainability requires the reduction of emissions throughout the entire value chain and across all relevant scopes of business. This includes IT, whether outside or in the cloud. There is a connected fleet of around 500,000 rolling Scania vehicles in customer operations and that number is rapidly increasing. Data-driven services and ever-increasing digitalization call for more IT usage and companies must respond to manage the impact of IT on the environment.
“An environmentally friendly and efficient IT solution is not only good for the planet, it also saves cost and is good for business. We want to ensure that we, as a company, only use what we need,” says Jan Andries Oldenkamp, CIO at Scania.
During Scania Hack, an internal hackathon, developers came up with an idea on how to minimize the environmental footprint of Scania’s IT services. An important idea was transparency of sustainability Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), down to the application level. This enables each application team to gain insight into their individual sustainability impact.
The next step was to contact AWS, with which Scania was already working for cloud services. The team decided to leverage the transparency of the cloud to build KPIs with hourly granularity from AWS usage reports and service metrics combined with data provided by Scania.
Together with AWS solutions architects, developers from Scania will now work to develop a monitoring mechanism and dashboards will provide hundreds of application teams with a transparent overview of KPIs of their applications like “vCPU hours per active user“. Having these KPIs, each application team can work independently on potential optimisations.
“Enabling sustainable IT choices is a focus for AWS. Scania’s approach of a dashboard with frequent, fine-grained, and tangible KPIs establishes a culture that continuously drives efficiency improvements across their application landscape.” Steffen Grunwald, Principal Solutions Architect at AWS.
The transparency and data captured allows Scania to determine which applications have the biggest impact by optimisations, for example by application size and utilisation. Since the cloud allows Scania to experiment with different compute configurations and automate the scale out and scale in as necessary, this is usually the first step to optimize towards less resources and higher utilization. Also, teams can switch to more energy efficient processors, including those custom-built by AWS, to increase power efficiency. By implementing more rigid lifecycle policies for the retention of data, teams can automatically delete data no longer needed and thereby reduce digital waste.
The longer-term vision is to create an efficiency rating of Scania IT solutions. To enable the most sustainable IT system possible, the team will start off by visualizing the present environmental impact, create guidelines and a concrete, scalable solution, and share best practices with other AWS customers.
To work towards a greener IT environment for developers, Scania will establish new ways of working cross-functionally. With the new project, Scania aims to become the leader in sustainable IT and challenge the IT industry to think and act differently. “IT is an essential part of Scania’s transformation journey to become a provider of sustainable transport solutions. As such, we have to minimize the footprint of IT. Any increased use of IT will otherwise add to the environmental impact of our transport solution ecosystem,” says Jan Andries Oldenkamp, CIO at Scania.