Sustainability in Digital Transformation, Strategic Approaches to Possible Problems. As digital transformation continues to drive major changes in the business world, companies are also trying to embrace next-generation digital technologies and integrate them into their business models and systems as much as possible to meet customer needs and increase their market share.
For this reason, the business world is going through a period where it often talks about the important impact of digital transformation on sustainability issues. In this article, I will share my strategic approaches and suggestions on how companies can integrate sustainability elements and respond to the problems that arise in this process.
Sustainability in Digital Transformation” Complement Each Other!
Digital transformation and sustainability cannot be considered separately. Companies that want to achieve their sustainability goals need to use digital technologies and innovation. Therefore, embracing sustainability as a key component of their digital transformation strategy will help companies achieve both financial success and their environmental and social goals. When we listen to the numbers, we can see that there is a “necessity” and a complete key-lock harmony between sustainability and digital transformation:
According to a study by SnapLogic and Vanson Bourne, 77 percent of IC decision-makers don’t fully trust the data in their organization to make timely and accurate decisions. As it can be understood from here, it is of great importance to ensure data integrity in sustainable digital transformation.
Did you know that waste in food consumption could save up to $127 billion a year by 2030 through the intervention of artificial intelligence? I think there are very few similar statistics that can better emphasize the importance of artificial intelligence in sustainable digital transformation.
According to Statista’s research, about 54 million metric tons of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2019, what a huge! This statistic also points to the importance of reducing environmental impact in the process of sustainable digital and hi-tech transformation.
Strategic Approach for Sustainable Digital Transformation!
Well, if you ask what companies are doing when sustainable digital transformation is so important, it is possible to say that the steps taken are still insufficient.
a) Measurement and Monitoring: Tracking and measuring sustainability is crucial to assessing the success and progress of companies. For example, companies like Unilever prefer to use transparent and reliable tools to measure and report on sustainability performance. In this way, it is possible to determine the extent to which sustainability targets are achieved and in which areas improvements need to be made.
b) Infrastructure Development: In the digital transformation process, it is essential to create infrastructures that optimize the use of energy and resources in order to achieve sustainability goals. For example, Google was able to reduce energy use by 50 percent by adopting energy-saving technologies and business processes that promote efficient resource use.
Apple has significantly reduced the environmental impact!
c) Impact Mitigation: Companies should aim to improve their sustainability performance by reducing the environmental and social impact of their products and services. By adopting design and manufacturing methods that extend product lifespan, reduce waste and emissions, and improve energy efficiency, Apple has significantly reduced the environmental impact of its products.
d) Democratizing Responsibility: Sustainability is an issue that requires the responsibility and participation of employees at all levels of the company. By creating a corporate culture that promotes sustainability, as in the case of IKEA, all employees should be engaged in this process and employees should be encouraged to help the company achieve its sustainability goals.
Natural resources and green energy more efficiently
e) Conscious Use of Technology: Technology plays an important role in achieving sustainability goals, but excessive use of technology can also have negative effects. Microsoft has developed policies and practices around the conscious and careful use of AI and cloud technologies to ensure efficient, effective use of technology and mitigate its negative impact. Through this approach, the company is not only improving its business processes, but also reducing its environmental impact by using natural resources and energy more efficiently.
f) Agility and Adaptation: In the process of sustainable digital transformation, it is essential for companies to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and sustainability trends, that is, to be agile. Tesla, the automotive giant owned by Elon Musk, can both achieve its sustainability goals and maintain its leading position in the sector with its innovations in electric vehicle technology and energy storage systems.
g) Human Orientation: In this process, it is important for companies to adopt an approach that centers on their employees, customers and society. In this way, sustainability and digital transformation strategies can be shaped to meet the needs and expectations of all stakeholders of the enterprise. Let’s take an example from Starbucks. In order to provide a better experience for its customers and employees and to achieve its sustainability goals, Starbucks focuses on energy efficiency, waste management and the use of renewable energy in its stores and continues to increase its loyalty rates day by day with the motto of “people-oriented”.
The strategic recommendations! Sustainability in Digital Transformation
The strategic recommendations I have listed above will help companies successfully manage the sustainable digital transformation process and gain a competitive advantage in the business world of the future. With these approaches, which I have underlined in the examples, you can ensure that your company takes concrete steps for a sustainable future and becomes one of the pioneers in your sector.
Long-Term Thinking and Sustainability Goals
Sustainability requires long-term thinking. If companies are willing to give up their short-term interests and prioritize long-term value to achieve their sustainability goals, they can also calculate the return on investments in this area with the right measurement and planning. In particular, I would like to convey that it is essential for C-level executives to consider the long-term impact and value of their decisions by moving away from short-term thought patterns that focus on quarterly financial reporting.
Sustainability in Digital Transformation! Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement
Dr. Glenn Agung Hole, who also describes himself as a “Philosophy of Management”, says: “To be successful in a business and digital transformation, we need to come together to bring about change, we need to build a sustainable world so much.” Yes, as Dr. Hole said, we need to come together, speak the same language, and run towards the same goal.
Speaking of goals, although sustainability goals are easily set, they are values that companies can only reach by cooperating with their stakeholders and ensuring their participation. All stakeholders, from suppliers to customers, employees to governments, need to support sustainability goals and work with common action plans to achieve them.
Responding strategically and effectively to sustainability challenges in the digital transformation processes of companies will ensure both financial success and the achievement of environmental and social goals. As I mentioned at the beginning of my article; sustainability and digital transformation are processes that complement and support each other. It is a big mistake and misfortune to think separately. Therefore, it is very valuable for managers and employees to play an active and responsible role in achieving the sustainability goals of companies.
Advantage and reducing the risks they may face in the future.
In summary, critical factors on the way to success in the sustainable digital transformation process; long-term thinking, collaboration and stakeholder engagement. Focusing on sustainability issues in the digital transformation process will also make a great contribution to companies gaining competitive advantage and reducing the risks they may face in the future. Therefore, I recommend that companies and managers put sustainability goals at the center of their digital transformation strategies and take conscious and strategic actions to achieve these goals.
To succeed in the sustainable digital transformation process, companies, their employees and stakeholders need to embrace continuous learning, innovation and adaptation, improving and support each other in this process. Only in this way can you take firm and effective steps towards a sustainable future and create positive and lasting change in the business world.