Three reasons why sustainability is a core driver of software innovation

Arek Skuza
10 October, 22

As the digitisation of IT solutions continues to evolve, many business leaders are now prioritizing investments in technology across entire organizations. According to Foundry’s 2021 report, 89% of organizations worldwide have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or are planning to do so in the near future. In the last couple of years, IT has had an indispensable impact on the strategies and operations of many enterprises. Statista reported that the global investment in digital transformation is expected to be close to doubling from $1.8 trillion in 2022 to $2.8 trillion in 2025.

Organizations worldwide are under enormous pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. Businesses are significantly investing in expertise, with the number of sustainability roles increasing 91% over the last five years in the UK alone. To address environmental sustainability, many companies are also turning to digital solutions. The future of how we conduct business will need to change drastically by becoming environmentally sustainable and integrating technological solutions. 

Achieving long-term business goals

It is clear that innovation is a crucial part of securing a company’s future. Continually adapting to new and emerging technologies is the best way to ensure that an organization is not left behind. Sustainability needs to be an integral part of business transformation and operational strategies. Combined with innovation, sustainability is a key driver of ROI and growth for many companies today. 

Sustainable innovation provides organizations with a competitive advantage. Revenue from businesses that offer sustainable products or services grew six times the rate of overall company revenue. Environmental standards, governmental mandates, and changes in consumer demand encourage sustainable innovation and transformation and open endless business opportunities. 

The adoption of a sustainable strategy also leads to increased financial performance. Organizations today are starting to comprehend significant cost savings through operational efficacies, sustainably managing natural resources, and reducing waste. Companies with robust sustainability strategies score much higher on employee well-being, loyalty, and retention and experience a substantial increase in employee productivity. In fact, a study by Anthesis disclosed that 53% of the UK workforce reported that sustainability is an important factor when choosing which company to work for. 

Adopting technology solutions 

Technology has a huge part to play in sustainability best practices, and Cloud computing has gained a massive share within the green revolution. With solutions tailored for the environment as well as businesses, the global market for Cloud adoption will be worth more than $390 billion between 2021 to 2028. The Cloud architecture addresses two vital aspects of a greener digital approach: economic utilization of resources and energy efficiency. With modern Cloud computing, organizations will be able to save drastically on hardware costs and, thus, contribute to a greener IT strategy. 

Organizations that opt to adopt Cloud solutions are able to reduce their total energy consumption by 80%. With the feature of remote accessibility and the paperless functionality the Cloud offers, an organization can significantly reduce its physical carbon footprint on the environment. 

In addition, AI can help businesses meet the challenge of reducing their carbon footprint. AI-powered software can provide optimized consumption and predictive maintenance for a company’s distribution and logistics operations. This improvement will help businesses save money and reduce their environmental impact. Predictive maintenance and consumption analysis are also essential for several firms because they can provide significant financial and environmental benefits. Organizations can significantly contribute to the fight against climate change by using AI to improve their operations.

One of the main advantages of artificial intelligence is its ability to learn from experience. AI can collect vast amounts of data from its surroundings, make connections that humans might miss, and suggest appropriate actions based on its findings. Companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint should use AI for all three process components.

  • AI and optimization can improve production, transportation, and elsewhere efficiency by providing detailed insight into every aspect of the value chain. This will reduce carbon emissions and cut costs.
  • Predictive AI can forecast emissions for a company across its carbon footprint. In addition, it can take into account current reduction efforts, new carbon reduction methodologies, and future demand. As a result of all this data is taken into consideration, companies can set appropriate targets and achieve them more accurately.
  • AI-powered data engineering may be used by businesses to measure emissions throughout their carbon footprint automatically. Companies can collect data from operations, such as corporate travel and IT equipment, and all points in the value chain, including material and component suppliers, transporters, and even end users of their goods.

ESG success

Deciding where and how to adopt digital solutions to enhance sustainability efforts is critical to meeting a company’s ESG goals, as digital infrastructure and IT solutions can negatively impact sustainability. Organizations need to assess what is relevant to their sustainability strategy. For example, various companies value issues from climate change and biodiversity to human rights, inclusion, and employee well-being. The key is identifying how multiple issues affect a business, aligning its strategy accordingly, and prioritizing how and when to adopt and develop digital technologies. 

Corporate sustainability is based on a sensible and thorough approach to capitalism–a belief system theorizing that when value is created to share with stakeholders, more value is generated long term. The progression of sustainable measures is vital, and incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the decision-making process is as much about the needs of the business as they are about the demands of society and the obligation to have a positive impact on the environment. 

Our global society’s challenge today is a shared responsibility and an opportunity to facilitate improved environmental, social, and business outcomes. It has been proven that adopting an ESG strategy ensures that an organization is more resilient and more capable of adapting to change. If an organization aims to grow and exist long-term, sustainability needs to have a seat at the decision-making table. Innovation and sustainability should be considered interconnected entities, ensuring business goals are met and creating solutions for the future.

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