In our unprecedented times, corporates are aligning ‘conscience quotient’ to their business strategy.
Businesses are revising their company strategies in the aftermath of COVID-19. New and inventive ways of working and leading are starting to emerge. Business concepts are being redefined, with revenue recovery and operational reconstruction no longer being the primary focus. In addition, new procedures and governance models in business are being driven by digital transformation facilitated by new-age technology.
The traditional corporate world is now being accompanied by a parallel narrative that is unfolding in unison. Climate change, pollution, and societal well-being are major concerns for today’s consumers, investors, and employees. And their relationships with business partners as clients or consumers, or with their employers as employees, reflect this ‘conscience quotient.’
New-age tech driving ‘business with purpose’
This new thinking is indeed impacting policy on the ground. For example, as technology creates significant opportunity in new business models, companies are increasingly going asset-light as they adapt to the ‘uberization’ model. Cloud, data, and artificial intelligence together is making this resolve to go asset-light even stronger as companies seek to acquire best-in-class solutions in their operations.
AI offers the chance to change the way we do business, from delivering operational efficiency to massively increasing our understanding of customers and markets, leading to increased adoption of AI across sectors. For example, Robert Bosch GmbH uses AI to predict future energy consumption, resulting in 10 percent in reduced emissions in two years.
PwC states that AI use for environmental applications could contribute a whopping $5.2 trillion to the global economy in 2030. While these ‘digitally efficient’ systems, enabled by the Industrial Internet, are aimed at providing outcomes beneficial to the environment, they are enabling significant incremental economic growth too.
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]In this age of digital transformation, sustainability is a key priority for organizations and consumers. The new business benchmark for organisations is to measure success in terms of contribution to society – not just for their own activities but for clients too. For example, Google had to rescind its decision to build custom AI tools for extracting fossil fuels under pressure from its own employees.[/box]
For example, sustainability is becoming the core of any business service or product design, and not merely as an afterthought. A Capgemini Research Institute (CRI) report titled, How sustainability is fundamentally changing consumer preferences, shows more consumers are connecting with sustainable products; employees seek genuine desire for sustainability from organisations; and investors are keen to showcase themselves as brands with a difference.
Sustainable organizations are realizing significant customer-facing as well as financial benefits. Organizations are using innovative approaches to make their operations more sustainable and, in return, gaining consumer trust, confidence, revenue and profitability. For example, Unilever claims its ‘Sustainable Living Brands’ are growing 69 percent faster than the rest of its business, and delivering 75 percent of the company’s growth.
3R approach enabling new business thinking
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Today, every organisation is undergoing change – creating a new service offering or developing new business channels and campaigns. It is an opportunity to revise business models and also to maintain it. This includes the capacity to respond suitably and limit the churn; restore business functionality quickly; and relaunch as a means of renewed performance in the New Normal.[/box]
All of this is essentially a roadmap for businesses to break out of legacy systems and develop a more agile approach to business engagement, and a means to accommodate new attitudes and behaviors. Today’s empowered customers and employees are clearly looking beyond the best product or best price, and are not joining organisations based only on factors like remuneration and brand names.
As corporations try to unlock value by aligning their existing business models to new strategies, the objective is not only to survive future unprecedented events that may cause disruptions, but also to grow and remain relevant for the customers of today … and tomorrow.
‘The best way to predict the future is to create it.’ Though stated in a different time, author Peter Drucker’s classic quote sets out a clear roadmap for business. Very simply, it means that the future is in our hands, and this isn’t the time for us to sit back and wait to see what tomorrow brings us. Rather, it’s a time to be proactive in our actions and find profit in sustainability and do our business with purpose. Surely, ignoring this call is no longer a choice!
[author title=”Written by” image=”http://”]Arul Kumaran Paramanandam – Chief Operating Officer – India, Capgemini[/author]
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members