Companies are deprioritising sustainability programmes in the face of the present economic crisis, according to research from among 2,088 IT professionals in the UK, US, Canada, Germany and France, carried out by Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of Software AG in October 2022 – 411 of which were from the UK.
The research indicated that companies are overwhelmingly putting commercial goals ahead of sustainability. This is despite the vast majority paying lip-service to sustainability by according it a high priority. Some 84% of the respondents said they will prioritise commercial objectives over sustainability ones in 2023 in the face of present economic turbulence.
But 95% agreed sustainability was a high priority, and 97% said other companies’ sustainability credentials were either essential or important in their own buying decisions.
At the same time, 82% of responding companies said they would accept regulatory penalties to avoid taking on sustainability initiatives.
Almost half (47%) of those organisations surveyed said the technology they have to support sustainability programmes is badly implemented and/or under-used. Almost one-third of the respondents reported such technology to be missing entirely, while 36% said they are unable to effectively track the progress of sustainability activities to determine whether they are or are not effective.
The survey also discovered that the huge majority (87%) of organisations treat sustainability and digital transformation as entirely separate disciplines, although one-third have integrated sustainability plans into their technology roadmap.
Sanjay Brahmawar, CEO of Software AG, said: “In the current climate, it’s no surprise that commercial objectives are a top priority – they have to be, otherwise organisations cannot continue to operate. We are keen to help organisations find solutions. The right application of mission-critical technologies can make enterprises more connected. When this happens, and data is free to move around it and be accessible to everyone who needs it, we will start to see progress in multiple areas at once.”
The report identified cloud (45%), data integration (28%), and edge computing (27%) as the most promising technologies for promoting sustainability activities.
It contends that: “API-enabled, hybrid cloud environments enable more efficiencies and innovative new services. Data integration helps organisations to combine multiple data streams to inform advanced analytics and decision-making.
“Edge computing delivers visibility across expansive operations via internet of things [IoT] sensors and devices capable of making decisions about the data they capture,” it added.