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Strong and growing interest in embedded CSR tracking tools, global IDC survey says

According to the new IDC study, “Global Corporate Citizens—the state of corporate social responsibility”, sponsored by IFS™, accurate and reliable corporate social responsibility (CSR) data will become increasingly important as a competitive factor for global companies. This development is driving the interest among companies in CSR tracking tools embedded in the enterprise software.

The IDC survey, based on interviews with CFOs in global companies with an annual turnover in excess of EUR 100 million in eight countries, shows that accurate and reliable CSR data will become increasingly important as companies are pressured to document their CSR activities and integrate sustainability and financial reporting.

Sixty-one per cent of the surveyed companies state a strong interest in embedded enterprise software to track and measure the company's impact on the environment. Comparing these results to the 2010 IDC survey on the same topic reveals a growing interest in this type of functionality as pressure for more accurate data increases.

“The survey clearly points to a burgeoning interest in CSR tracking solutions as an integrated, natural part of the overall ERP system,” IFS CTO Dan Matthews said. “By investing in embedded solutions instead of third-party best-of-breed systems, companies can avoid complex and potentially costly integrations. We see non-financial reporting as an organic part of the value chain and by deploying embedded tracking functionality, companies can benefit from increased business transparency and improved process efficiency while complying with laws and regulations.”

The survey shows that only 21 per cent of the surveyed companies have environmental tracking and measuring functionality embedded directly in their enterprise system. Some rely on third-party product integration, while 38 per cent are not able to track CSR impact at all. Compared to the IFS-sponsored 2010 study, more companies are today able to track the environmental impact. However, they are less confident with the results.

“Interestingly, in the time since the last survey in 2010, the share of companies able to track CSR-related data has increased while confidence in the gathered data has declined. This indicates a lack of reliable reporting solutions that can deliver accurate data,” IDC Research Manager Anders Munk Ebbesen said.

According to the study, 63 per cent of companies have tried to quantify the financial contribution from CSR tracking, compared with only 23 per cent in the 2010 study. Despite the increase in financial tracking, companies’ confidence in correctly tracking the financial contribution of CSR has fallen to 66 per cent, from 76 per cent in 2010.

“Over the past decade, CSR has moved from being a merely legislative or moral imperative to becoming a critical business issue and a growing number of companies are embracing CSR as a key organisational component,” Anders Munk Ebbesen said. “Looking at the results of the 2010 study, we can clearly see that CSR will continue to increase in importance, driving the need for technology that can turn non-financial reporting from a challenge into a business opportunity.”

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company.

More information on IDC is available at www.IDC.com

About the study

The survey was performed between June-July 2012 with a total of 409 phone interviews and web survey responses in a wide range of industry verticals in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, and France.

About IFS

IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. IFS focuses on industries where any of four core processes are strategic: Service & asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and projects. The company has 2,000 customers and is present in approximately 60 countries with 2,800 employees in total. Net revenue in 2011 was SKr 2.6 billion.

More information on IFS is available at www.IFSWORLD.com

Follow us on Twitter: @ifsworld

Visit the IFS Blogs on technology, innovation and creativity: http://blogs.ifsworld.com/

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