Companies can unlock the next area of growth by identifying and building a “social value proposition”, according to Gartner. 

Speaking today at the Gartner Symposium on the Gold Coast, VP and Gartner Fellow in Gartner’s CEO Research team, Partha Iyengar argued organisations need to find a topic relevant to their industry and build new business area which improves society. 

“Every organisation has a customer value proposition. But here is a different level, build a social value proposition,” Iyengar told attendees during the opening keynote.

“This is the next engine for growth. Building a social value proposition is not about donating of volunteering for a good cause. It is about building a business out of improving our digital society.” 

Partha Iyengar, VP and Gartner Fellow in Gartner’s CEO Research team

Iyengar argued every single industry has the largest society topics they can turn into business success. He recommended CIOs work with their boards and CIOs to ensure technology is at the core of that social value proposition. 

Used the example of Investment fund, Australian Ethical, a B Corp whose investment strategy is to back companies driving positive change for the society and the environment. 

 “The investment strategies revolve around growth industries, trying to do something about the threat of global warming, in renewables, energy efficiency and sustainability, amongst other socially conscious approaches. They avoid investments that harm humans, animals and the environment,” Iyengar said.

The drive toward business models that are beneficial to the world is being driven by employees, consumers and investors. 

“This is not only an opportunity, but an expectation from both your customers, and your employees. 70 per cent of customers expect companies to take a public position on social issues relevant to their business. And according to the Edelman Trust barometer employees feel the same way, two thirds expect prospective employers to take action on societal issues.” 

Iyengar also referenced comments from the CEO of BlackRock, the largest asset management company in the world, calling for organisations to discover their purpose and focus on stakeholders, not just shareholders. 

The point is part of a wider body of Gartner research on Digital Society. Gartner argues enterprises are responsible for how they influence the digital society through the technology choices they make. “CIOs should make sure their impact is a positive one in the form of a citizen value proposition or a social value proposition,” the analysts argue. 

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