Sustainability in Your Technology Ecosystem


Paul Gottsegen 

Now when it comes to sustainability, green, the “E” of ESG, all the different labels… I know that solar panels were invented in 1954, even before you were born, Prashant, and the electric wind turbine was invented in 1887 in Scotland – before I was born. So, this has been around for a while in different forms. 

We pretty much all care about the earth. So why is it? I'm curious why – when you only had three; I only gave you three things to choose for 2023 – and you chose green tech. What is happening now versus what has happened prior? 

Prashant Kelker 

What's happening now is at least two decades of progress on the tech part of green. If you look at the amount of the cost of generating power solar panels over the last 30 years, they have dropped by 90 percent. That's nine-zero percent. The same thing with wind power, which has dropped 70 – that’s seven zero – percent over the last three decades. Wind and solar have certainly got much, much cheaper. Now, it's just that they're unpredictable, because they rely on forces of nature. 

Suddenly, it's not just about power generation, it's also about power storage, which is where something like batteries come in. You can start seeing how a topic like sustainability goes from being a goal to actually being an ecosystem of technology. Which is why our focus is, as I see, it's much more on what are the technology players coming up now. It could be a hardware, it could be a software, it could be electrical or mechanical.  

What could be the solutions that are coming up and how do they come together to achieve the common goal? 

The common goal could be selling green tech. Another common goal could be creating a circular economy. There's a lot of money to be made in recycling. We spoke about this example of batteries having three lives; who takes care of that life end-to-end? Who takes care of life three, in the three lives? What happens when batteries have to change boundaries? Could you buy a battery in the Netherlands and then recycle it in Germany?  

Try doing that. It's not as easy as it seems. 

So how do you design for circular economies, and what could be the brand-new sustainability services that come up? We expect some of your vendors to emerge who specialize in such things so – and you know about this, Paul – we are starting our own sustainability services. Our north star at the moment is focused on scope one and scope two, not so much scope three, to see: what are these new services that will be bought and sold? 

This could also go in the direction of design for recycling green infrastructure. We don't expect any spending to stop in this area, which is why we're tracking it.  

Paul Gottsegen 

Around the design for recycling, I've heard the term cradle to cradle. I like that.  

But you know, if you're a Global 2000 client and your main focus isn't so much to sell green tech services… but you know that there's a burst of small and large organizations out there. And meanwhile, there is pressure from shareholders, pressure from employees, to do all that you can for the cause. So, you know you need to engage with this ecosystem. How do you do it as a Global 2000  an organization? It must be overwhelming to figure out with all that's happening in green tech. How do you harness the power or pick and choose from a set of priorities to figure out how to how to develop the right path in 2023 for green tech? 

Prashant Kelker 

I think as a community, we need new muscles. We are so used to architecting and designing. I'm not sure these verbs are going to help us going forward. We need to be listening more. So instead of trying to think, “what should we architect?” and “what should we design?” we should start listening for conversations within our own industry value chains.  

  • If you're a retail firm, what's happening in third-party logistics, what's happening in the CPG area? 

  • If you are a healthcare payer firm, what's happening on the provider side, what's happening on the MedTech side, what's happening with bioscience and data science coming together, how does that shift my spend from diagnostics to pre-diagnostic? 

You need to start looking at industry value chains. Some call it ecosystem, others call it industry value chains. And we need to start tracking and listening more. The minute you start tracking and listening more, you start seeing which conversations are happening in the market outside you, outside your office. 

Some of these conversations might be happening without you. You just don't know about them. 

So just listening and tracking the conversations would help you to say, “okay, what's actually happening?” Then you can change gears. You could say, “well, of these ten conversations, you know what, I want to influence what happens in this conversation.” “What's that conversation?” “I want to influence this. I want to track that. I want to engage here.”  

We should move to a conversation play across industry value chains, and then we can always bring it back to architecting and design. 

Now this comes with the with a downside, Paul. I think that because you're tracking conversations continuously, you can't plan for three years down the line. So, what does this do to three- or four-year programs? What does it do for large implementations? 

That's where I think we should start going from capital “A” Agile to small “a” agile, thinking agile not in terms of doing Agile, but thinking agile in terms of funding and shipping continuous business outcomes. Tracking such conversations across industry value chains is going to move us towards a small “a” agile.

Continue to the next video to dive into our conclusion: Shipping Continuous Business Outcomes in 2023.


About the authors

Paul Gottsegen

Paul Gottsegen

What he does at ISG

As leader of the entire client experience, including all marketing and communications globally, Paul takes a hands-on approach to the firm’s digital and product marketing, partnerships and alliances, sales enablement and corporate communications. In overseeing ISG research, Paul has strengthened the offering so that it resonates deeply with technology providers and enterprise service providers and is a go-to source for in-depth knowledge of technology trends and advancements. Paul’s purview is underpinned by his steadfast commitment to market technology and how it can be used to grow both ISG’s and clients’ businesses.

Past achievements for clients

Paul’s experience as a brand evangelist, message creator and full-stack marketer position him perfectly to ensure that ISG’s value proposition is well articulated and its brand impact far-reaching. He has managed teams located across the globe, championed memorable communication and developed a talent of looking beyond black-and-white KPIs to determine whether a marketing strategy is actually effective.

Prashant Kelker

Prashant Kelker

Prashant Kelker is Chief Strategy Officer of ISG, Partner of ISG Americas Consulting and a member of the ISG Executive Board (IEB). He was named to the IEB in January 2023. Prashant was appointed Chief Strategy Officer in 2018, responsible for developing the firm’s three-year strategic blueprint, and he was instrumental in the development of our highly successful ISG NEXT operating model in 2020.

In January 2023, he was named to the expanded role of Partner, Americas Consulting, bringing together all our advisory capabilities in the region to support our commercial and public sector clients in response to the growing convergence of digital technology and enterprise operating models, business processes and revenue-generating connected products and services.

Prashant joined ISG in 2012 from Accenture, initially working for our DACH business and based in Germany. He moved with his family to the United States in 2018. Prashant earned his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore and a BE in electronics from Bangalore University in India.