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Enterprise hits and misses - enterprises aren't ready for ESG, SAP acquires LeanIX, and the remote work face-off continues

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed September 11, 2023
Summary:
This week - companies aren't ready for ESG, and CFOs can look forward to a hot ESG potato. Remote work versus return-to-office flares up again, as does generative AI's impact on programming. SAP acquires LeanIX, and I sneak in one more love letter to enterprise event planners.

King Checkmate

Lead story - ESG is here, and enterprises aren't ready.

Not long ago, I made the unpopular argument that generative AI is sexy, but ESG has teeth. I don't care how sexy the tech is. In the end, the stick (compliance) is the most reliable driver of tech spend.

Risk protection can drive spending, but so does perception of risk, even if that risk doesn't materialize (see: Y2K). I'm not sure companies have calibrated their on-the-books ESG risks properly. Since I wrote that piece, my views on ESG have shifted, but only slightly.

Backchannel research has indicated to me that the flood of ESG requirements may not surge quite as dramatically in the short term. But if it's not a flood, it's certainly a river, and enterprises aren't prepared. Brian makes that case with fresh data in AuditBoard Research and a growing ESG set of requirements/risks. Brian writes:

How bad is the status quo? Short answer: bad. Too many firms are not prepared. They lack the data and systems to pull together the needed information AND the data itself may be problematic.

Brian got another angle on this issue via John Wheeler of AuditBoard, who provided context on AuditBoard's 2023 ESG Maturity Benchmarking Report: Accelerating ESG Transformation. As per Brian, the data comes down to this:

ESG is not included as part of ERM (enterprise risk management) in a strategic way in many organizations.

The sledding gets tougher. The AuditBoard report found:

46% of our respondents reported that there is no dedicated budget allocated for ESG. Among those with an ESG budget, only 9% have a budget allocated for ESG technology.

Brian is salty:

This is NOT how you manage risk.

If better ESG data is the answer, we have another problem. Brian quotes the report:

While 72% of our respondents track at least some ESG data metrics across their physical locations, offices, and manufacturing plants, only 17% centralize ESG data collected on a regular basis and make it accessible to internal stakeholders. 

What should enterprises do? Brian advises moving from an incremental to a systematic approach to these "evolving ESG and risk requirements." He warns: this is going to fall on the CFO's lap, and soon. As for generative AI, I'm not naive enough to believe enterprises will set generative AI aside for ESG concerns. But I've always been in the walk (AI) and chew gum (ESG) camp. The notion that enterprises can't move ahead on several priorities is ludicrous. But so far, the indicators raise concerns.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - I took a different tack for my latest events missive, Can we fix enterprise events - by designing for serendipity?

In this post, I am throwing down the gauntlet - on myself. I will keep my critiques in check, and leave all the hard working event planners out there with provide examples event planners can pull into fall events.

Okay, so I snuck in a bit of snark about dancers jumping out of cakes, but otherwise, I played it on the level. Still, this post caused an interesting debate on LinkedIn on how much you can design for serendipity versus vendors' event agendas, but I believe there is some promising middle ground here - as yet unclaimed.

PSA: our wall-to-wall Dreamforce coverage and analysis starts Tuesday.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman

Whiffs

Speaking of which, I realize JP Morgan isn't different than most financial services companies, but boy am I rooting against them, as in JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon delivers a stern warning to remote workers:

I completely understand why someone doesn’t want to commute an hour and a half every day. Totally get it... Doesn’t mean they have to have a job here either.

Clipping that for a future "case studies in modern leadership" profile piece... re: Are Extraterrestrials Listening In On Our Phone Conversations? I'm not sure, but if this is on your top ten list of concerns there may be other problems...

Finally, it was time for another gratuitous shot at LinkedIn, and I found a way:

See you next time... If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, King Checkmate © mystock88photo - all from Adobe Stock.

Disclosure - Oracle, Workday and Salesforce, IFS and Acumatica are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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