Meet Steering Committee Member of Green Software Foundation: Kin Chiu of UBS

Posted on April 14th, 2022

Kin says that his interest in green software began in earnest while driving UBS’s strategic initiative to move parts of their technical estate to the cloud.

Meet Steering Committee Member of Green Software Foundation: Kin Chiu of UBS

Tell us about your role at UBS.

I’m part of the Technology Services team at UBS. Around the world, this team is responsible for engineering, securing and operating all of the platforms and services on which our firm operates. Within Technology Services, I am the Sustainable Technology Lead with a focus on Cloud Acceleration. I am also a Program Manager, accountable for coordinating and delivering large scale group-wide initiatives.

Tell us about your education and your career path along the way to the current role

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and a Master’s degree in Mediaeval Studies. For a myriad of reasons, I found my way into financial services and haven’t looked back!

During my career, in addition to UBS, I have worked at a number of global financial institutions, including JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank where I had the opportunity to work across Finance, Operations and Risk departments and for the past decade, Technology.  I have specialised in delivering change and have a Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma, so increasing efficiency and reducing waste is baked into the way I work.

How did you get interested in green software?

As a Program Manager, reducing risk, cost and waste is an intrinsic part of what I do. That said, it was through my work driving UBS’s strategic initiative to move parts of our technical estate to the cloud, that my interest in green software began in earnest.  Throughout this initiative, I worked closely with our software development teams and our strategic cloud partner to understand how to accelerate our journey to the cloud and how to optimise our experience once there.

In 2021, UBS formed a Sustainable Technology Guild to help deliver on the firms ‘Net Zero by 2050’ commitment. It was the  combination of the UBS Cloud Strategy, the Sustainable Technology Guild and our ongoing partnership with Microsoft, our strategic cloud partner, that led us to the Green Software Foundation and to expand on how we explore ways to reduce emissions.

What do you expect to achieve by working with the GSF and in green software in general? 

Personally, I want to be part of a group that seeks solutions for an evolving problem. It’s clear that the world is becoming digitalized at pace and therefore, the resources required will also grow exponentially if left unmanaged. As the father of two young children, and someone who works in a technology organisation that enables and creates software, I feel a responsibility to ensure that this digital world isn’t delivered at the expense of the natural world.

What obstacles do you see to the cause of green software? How do you think we can overcome them?

Little awareness and slow adoption of greener software practices are the key obstacles that I see. It’s  human nature to take the path of least resistance, especially when it’s hard to see and feel the immediate impact of your contributions. In addition to education and training, I think that we can use green software to overcome some of these challenges, specifically where developers are reluctant or unaware of how to optimise their applications; “Carbon Aware Computing” could recommend or even automatically refactor software to be greener.  However, in parallel to these developments, it is critical that we drive towards a common definition and measure of what constitutes “green” software to allow the community to rally around it, recognize and reward achievements in the green software space.

Read interviews with other Steering Committee Members

Dan Lewis-Toakley of Thoughtworks

Elise Zelechowski of Thoughtworks

Erica Brescia formerly of GitHub

Jeff Sandquist of Microsoft

Jose Lopez Diminguez of Globant

Matthew Kropp of BCG GAMMA 

Niels Freier of BCG GAMMA

Sanjay Podder of Accenture

Santiago Fontannarosa of Globant

Toru Shimogaki of NTT DATA

Yusuke Kobayashi of NTT DATA

This article is licenced under Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0)

Nilooka Dissanayake
Nilooka DissanayakeEditor & Content Creator