In 2002, the global consulting firm PwC first asked CEOs about trust. At the time, despite accounting frauds, the dotcom bubble bursting, and more, only 12% of CEOs thought public trust in companies had greatly declined.
15 years later, there is an entirely different story. With 58% concerned that a climate of suspicion and lack of trust would harm their company’s growth, the new question was to ask about technology and its impact. “69% of CEOs think that, in an increasingly digitalised world, it’s harder for businesses to gain – and retain – people’s trust.”
The detailed probing by PwC identified what many CEOs confirmed to be threats to their ability to sustain trust: social media, data security breaches, data ethics, IT disruptions, automation, artificial intelligence, robots. In other words, in the reactions of CEOs, every innovation we are now navigating creates risks to trust. Wouldn’t it be nice if we still lived back in the 1950s too? Jeesh.
Properly engineered and governed, each innovation that is viewed as endangering trust is actually an opportunity. On this, PwC and I are in “violent agreement”. These technologies are all driving toward the same goals: velocity in business, authenticity in information, competitive reliability confirmed by trusted information. But the key to achieving results are found in the engineering and the use of rules-based design processes at every level of business.
As corporate business activities become multi-dimensional, evolving from supply and distribution chains into cloud-based ecosystems in which trusted data is esssential to connectivity, the winners will be those that make the added investments to launch new innovations with resolve, not hesitation. Some projects may stumble, but the transparency of sharing the journey—both successes and failures—accelerates trust.
As discussed elsewhere here at jeffreyritter.com, in part due to the fact my course on engineering digital trust at Oxford is sold out into 2018(!), I have now developed a two day intensive training course that brings the Oxford course to your corporate workroom. Just sayin: the companies that forge ahead will lead the next disruption that digital trust will deliver to the global wired market; those that do not will not.
The full PwC report can be found here.