Can technology play a bigger role in enhancing CSR?
September 6 2021
Information technology (IT) is an effective enabler for all sorts of business strategies, so it comes as no surprise that IT is useful for implementing a firm’s CSR initiative. There are many technological practices available that are targeted at improving the impact of CSR. Technology remains the basic driver of societal development, but growing social expectations place new demands on technology developers of responsible and sustainable technologies that could adequately support the solution of social issues in modern society.
Technology can help businesses to adopt a more coherent and integrated reporting framework. Through technology, companies are better placed to include detailed data on their supply chains and regional operations, providing a more comprehensive picture of their corporate sustainability and compliance. Consequently, technology allows businesses to explore and benefit from the interconnections between organizational strategy, governance, and economic performance. For example, Google is using its technology to tackle education inequality worldwide. The company has supported the creation of an open-source platform that translates books into local languages spoken in smaller communities around the world (Rico). Therefore, investors want to be associated with companies that have a long-term strategy to sustainably operate and maintain harmonious relationships with their stakeholders.
There is a huge potential for technology in strategizing, planning, managing, and reporting CSR programs. It has the potential to impose great impact. For companies looking to break away from the traditional way of doing and managing CSR, technology is regarded as a game-changer in the long run. These plans and strategies have the rationale for choosing the causes to support, beneficiaries, and locations to focus on and modalities of monitoring and reporting based on their previous learning and data analytics.
Technology could play a bigger role in enhancing CSR since tech platforms can bring greater transparency by bringing all the relevant stakeholders on one plane. Technology can help in prioritizing CSR expenditure by aligning them with the needs on the ground and helping choose the right partners at the planning stage. Additionally, CSR strong planning is a very important step that can be done by introducing various tech platforms. Tech based monitoring of CSR programs provides eyes on the ground and direct access to beneficiaries which paper-based monitoring cannot. CSR and Innovation are the foundation of business competencies. These two elements help companies to create value and new ways of operations that may be more efficient in resource utilization and will benefit the company in the long term.
John Riccio, How big tech is giving back to society, https://www.pwc.com.au/digitalpulse/tech-philanthropy-industry-giving-back-society.html.
María I. González-Ramos* , Mario J. Donate , Fátima Guadamillas, “Technological Posture And Corporate Social Responsibility: Effects On Innovation Performance”, http://www.eemj.icpm.tuiasi.ro/pdfs/vol13/no10/Full/9_665_Gonzalez-Ramos_14.pdf.
Goodera, “Technology as a game-changer for CSR”, https://goodera.com/blog/csr/technology-as-a-game-changer-for-csr/.