Successful digital transformation requires an organisantion’s stakeholders, including employees, partners and customers to have a strong faith in the technology the company invests in and also the outcome. A recent study by cybersecurity advisory firm calls this ‘digital trust’ and noted that over three-fourth (76%) of Indian respondents ‘do not have a complete understanding’ of digital trust, and while most believe that digital trust will be much more important than it is today, 57% of organisations still do not provide training in digital trust.
In its State of Digital Trust 2022 survey, which has poled nearly 200 survey respondents in India, ISACA defines ‘digital trust’ as the confidence in the integrity of relationships, interactions and transactions among providers and consumers within an associated digital ecosystem. It is a driving factor in consumer decisions and enterprise resilience in a digital-dominated environment, it said.
Apart from lack of staff training, ISACA highlights a lack of leadership involvement (49%), lack of alignment of digital trust and enterprise goals (49%), lack of technological resources (47%) and insufficient processes and governance practices (41%), as the other most significant obstacles to digital trust.
“Digital trust is the bedrock of business relationships, and is critical for strategic digital transformation,” said David Samuelson, chief executive officer, ISACA. “Innovation, market leadership and financial performance rely heavily on trust that must be earned every day.”
Organisations with low levels of digital trust suffer from many consequences, such as loss of customers, more cybersecurity incidents, more privacy breaches, reputation deduction, and having less reliable data on which to make decisions.
The survey findings show that analytics and metrics are highly valued, with, 82% indicating that it is very or extremely important to measure it, and 46% saying their organisation measures the maturity of its digital trust practices. Yet, 31% are unsure if their organisation currently measures its digital trust maturity.
According to a January 2021 Deloitte report, the focus on trust must start internally. “If your customers don’t trust the company vision, top-level company leadership, or their individual managers, building trust with customers becomes nearly impossible. A culture of top-down mandates and forcefulness is a thing of the past – you need to focus on how you build a culture of engagement and satisfaction, and trust is fundamental,” it said.
A Harvard Business Review article published in 2017, 'The Neuroscience of Trust', reveals that “compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.”
According to respondents in India, high levels of digital trust are more likely to lead to positive reputations (70%), stronger customer loyalty (61%), more data-driven decisions (58%), fewer cybersecurity incidents and privacy breaches (53%), the ability to innovate faster because of the confidence in their technology and systems (51%) and subsequently higher revenues.
The study indicates that employees who are engaged and satisfied and who trust their leadership buy into the vision being presented and work more energetically toward the desired outcome and vice versa.