Dutch Companies' ESG Ambitions Hampered by Data Challenges and Fragmented Processes, Says Survey
According to a new survey done by Direct Research and commissioned by Appian, Dutch companies want to improve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. However, 95% of the companies that took part in the survey have problems with data and fragmented processes.
The survey was sent to professionals at mid-sized enterprises in the Netherlands with at least 250 employees. Respondents were quizzed about data use and the importance of ESG practices within their organisations and customer care departments.
Management support for ESG activities is strong, with 85% supporting ESG goals and policies. Organisations have aspirational aims to improve customer service, and four out of five (82%) survey respondents said environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors play a role.
"Regulations change all the time when it comes to ESG practises," said Herbert Schild, the Global Industry Lead for Financial Services at Appian. "The underlying detailed requirements for processes, data volumes, and their quality will only rise and become increasingly complex in the future. "Regardless of your ESG-related use case, you need a flexible enterprise platform and to automate as much as possible to reduce the technical debt that ESG-related regulations and requirements typically require."
Even though there is already a strong desire to build better ESG processes, collaboration and oversight need to improve for this to happen. Almost half of the people surveyed (46%) say it's hard to implement ESG in their company, and 38% say it's hard to get different departments to work together. In addition, one in three respondents has challenges complying with local and international regulations and ESG reporting.
For many survey respondents, these issues are due to disconnected systems within their organisation. Most people (75%) say that these silos make it harder to collect data and cause too many problems with data reporting (64%) and deployment (66%). Also, as many as 95% of those who answered said they face problems in one or more of these areas: Analysing data (49%), Automating processes (45%), Collecting data (33%), and Reporting data (33%).
By bringing together existing systems, automation solutions are seen as helpful for putting ESG-conscious processes in place in organisations. A third of the employees in the survey also wanted to be able to quickly adapt to ESG criteria and regulations using low-code applications.
"It is good to see that most people understand the value of data. However, it is worrying that hundreds of Dutch organisations are encountering challenges when it comes to deploying it for the good of the business," said Marten Kruisinga, Regional VP of Benelux and Nordics at Appian. "Organisations could get more value from their data by combining an enterprise process automation platform with a data fabric to get rid of data silos and make it easier to collect and analyse data."
Click here to download the survey