Survey Reveals Dutch Companies ESG Aspirations Constrained By Data Silos and Fragmented Processes 1

As many as 95% of respondents in the Netherlands have data challenges

According to a new survey conducted by Direct Research and commissioned by Appian, Dutch companies aspire to improve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives but 95% of respondents have data challenges and fragmented processes. The survey went to professionals at mid-size companies with at least 250 employees in the Netherlands. Respondents were asked about the use of data and the role of ESG processes within their company and its customer service department.

Support from management for ESG initiatives is high with 85% expressing support for ESG goals and policies. Organisations have aspirational goals to improve customer service and four in five (82%) survey respondents indicated that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) plays a part. Specifically:

–  46% shared that their company already invests in a social corporate culture.

–  42% invest in green initiatives within the company.

–  37% have green investments outside of the organisation.

“ESG practices are constantly subject to regulatory changes,” commented Herbert Schild, Global Industry Lead in 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 what your ESG relevant use case may be, you need a flexible enterprise platform and automate as much as possible to reduce the technical debt that ESG related regulations and requirements typically demand.”

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While the desire to build better ESG processes is already high, improved collaboration and oversight are both crucial to successful implementation. Almost half of those surveyed (46%) say they struggle to implement ESG within the company, and 38% state that collaboration between different departments is a stumbling block. In addition, one in three respondents have challenges complying with local and international regulations and ESG reporting.

For many survey respondents, these issues are due to disconnected systems within their organisation. These silos hinder data collection (75%) and introduce too many data reporting (64%) and deployment (66%) challenges. In addition, as many as 95% of respondents said they encounter one or more challenges in the following areas:

–  Analysing data (49%)

–  Automating processes (45%)

–  Collecting data (33%)

–  Reporting of data (33%)

Automation solutions are recognized as useful for implementing ESG-conscious processes within organisations by uniting existing systems (43%). Additionally, the ability to quickly adapt to ESG criteria and regulations using low-code applications is high on the wish list for a third of employees in the survey.

“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 extract more value from their data by using an enterprise process automation platform interwoven with a data fabric that eliminates data silos to simplify data collection and analysis.”

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