In our two most recent blogs, we have looked at the Environmental and Social pillars of ESG - exploring how technology and workspace solutions can help you achieve goals in these areas.
In this, our final piece on ESG for the moment, we’re going to look at your Corporate Governance Strategy and consider how your technology infrastructure can support these goals.
Governance Goals for Your ESG Improvements
As before, we’ve broken the governance pillar into three areas through which we’ll explore suggestions for technology, infrastructure and workspace improvements to enable you to reach your goals.
1) Provide accurate and timely reporting
Reliable reporting is essential to monitor and maintain your ESG standards as well as providing credibility for your claims. Your technology platforms and infrastructure should simplify data gathering and reporting to serve your goals.
ESG data often exists in disparate, unstructured, outdated, and siloed systems. Pulling this data together to provide accurate reports and useful summary data can be achieved with the right technology solution.
The automation of processes which gather and manage data will save time and provide greater accuracy and confidence in your numbers. Developing solutions which extract necessary information and pull it together to create effective summary sheets and reports will give stakeholders greater clarity and reassurance.
Low-code platforms can provide flexible and adaptable solutions for managing your data. Such systems give visibility of existing bottlenecks while also identifying opportunities for process optimisation and a simple platform to enable development.
2) Enhance cyber security with effective preventative measures
As the digital operations of your organisation have grown and the flexibility of remote working has added complexities to your infrastructure the risks of data breach have increased. There are big costs associated with a data breach - compensation, investigation, potential legal fees and fines, while the costs of downtime and reputational damage also shouldn’t be underestimated. Ensure your cyber security is an essential element of your governance strategy.
Protect your perimeter with strict controls on devices - including BYOD - and architecture. Ensuring the security of your data on the devices which access it and across your infrastructure will be your priority.
Make sure you know the risks to your data across cloud and on-premises repositories. This needs to include understanding the status of the data and risks associated with the kind of data it is as well as the systems which are holding it.
Ensuring visibility of your infrastructure and the risks to it can be achieved with systems providing real-time information across your platforms, bringing data together and identifying your risks.
3) Ensure effective cyber supply chain risk management
Once you’ve established data security across your portfolio, there is still more work to be done. The risk of cyber attacks is increased with every third-party you engage as the weakest link in your supply chain becomes the biggest vulnerability. Vendor partnerships are inevitable - and valuable - so managing the security of your supply chain is a necessity.
Understanding the security position of each of your third-parties is essential, allowing you to evaluate the risk each introduces. Improving your processes around vendor risk assessment will also improve your onboarding and management.
Continuous monitoring of the cybersecurity health of your vendors allows you to take action immediately when issues arise. Finding the right systems to monitor and manage these relationships will save you time and money through regular reassessment, as well as providing flexible and adaptable management tools.
Collaborating with vendors will reduce everyone’s risk. Ensuring your third-parties are effectively managing their third-parties reduces your risk so communicating well, sharing resources and establishing joined up processes will give you greater visibility of your fourth-party risks providing confidence and security.
Developing Essential Governance Capability
Your technology is key to providing secure and reliable governance across your organisation. The security of data and processes is paramount and - even with the most complex architecture - there are increasingly sophisticated solutions to ensure you can monitor and investigate potential risks and threats. While accurate and effective reporting can be achieved with the right solution, providing an essential element of your ESG strategy and communication.
About the Author
I'm Terry Chana. I am an innovation strategist that connects customer, employee and brand experiences. My passion lies in building ecosystems to solve business problems by combining creativity and technology.