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Why we need Corporate Digital Responsibility

Why we need Corporate Digital Responsibility

Corporate Digital Responsibility was something I took always care about in my projects even before the term “Corporate Digital Responsibility” (short: CDR) was invented in the year 2015. I always tried to realize Digital Transformation projects in a sustainable, responsible, and same time in a successful way. Because you don´t have to choose between sustainability and earning money. With the right strategy you can have both at the same time.

But I am aware that the concept of CDR is still unknown to many people. Therefore, I want to give a short introduction about this important topic today.

If we take a closer look at the well-known concept of “Corporate Responsibility”, we can see that there are 4 different sectors. 

Three of these sectors are not new. We all know that “Environmental Responsibility” means that companies need to be aware of their on the environment. We all know that companies are full responsible for protection the environment while the production of goods. Meanwhile there are many laws and legal regulations to avoid environment pollution around the globe.

Also, the concept of “Economical Responsibility” is not new. Economic respon-sibility is about improving business operations by using sustainable practices. For example, to optimize a business process by eliminating waste and all unnecessary activities from it than just buy cheaper materials.

The concept of “Corporate Social Responsibility” has a long tradition in many countries and does not need much explanation. We can see it by high quality medical plans for employees, by company training programs for students, by providing internships for professional education or by donations from companies for social purposes.

But the last sector is new!

Digital responsibility completes the field of corporate responsibilities. It is the new additional corporate responsibility within the Digital Age.

Corporate Digital Responsibility

Currently there is no standardized definition of Corporate Digital Responsibility. CDR is a very new topic. The term “Corporate Digital Responsibility” exists for 5 years now. But we already know why we need it! And we also already know why we will even need it more and more in the future.

What created the need of Corporate Digital Responsibility?

In the past 2 decades Digitalization, Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 were transforming the world. Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 are not new. Both started already at the turn of the millennium.

Round about 20 years ago. At the beginning from this millennium Artificial Intelligencewas already existing since more than 40 years and the world had already a company named Google – which was founded in 1998. Social media in form of Facebook came into the world a few years later in 2004.

In these early years of the new millennium we did not think much about Digital Ethics or about protection of personal data. When I look back at these times it was a little bit like the Gold rush in the Wild West. Businesses and companies were thinking a lot about how to make money in the new online economy but less about concerns about the impact of these new business modes on society or other negative side effects. Neither we did as the term “Industry 4.0” was officially invented in 2013.

But now, 15 to 20 years after the first online gold rush we know that Digitalization and Digital Transformation can provide many chances and opportunities. But that they also bring new threads and challenges. We all experienced during the past 2 decades that Digitalization, Digital Transformation, and Industry 4.0 are transforming our society, our economy, and our ways of interacting and communicating with each other. Some people are really scared about this hugh impact.

In the year 2020 there are not many global laws and legal regulations about a responsible handling of Digital Transformation and Digitalization. That means that companies which care about Corporate Digital Responsibility are ahead of new laws and regulations. Most customers and business partners honor a voluntary commitment as much more worthful than just following compulsion.

Corporate Digital Responsibility can help us to reshape the Business World in a sustainable, social, modern, and responsible way. To earn money and make profit without being reckless to the environment and society which surrounds us.

By using a good structured and trustable Corporate Digital Responsibility strategy you can show that you are a real Game Changer. This will push you ahead of your competitors.

Iris Meinl

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