Over the past decade, digital transformation has shifted from being a long-term action item to a priority over other business activities. Largely due to the sweeping changes resulting from Covid-19, the pace of digitization is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. In fact, a recent global McKinsey survey found that the share of digital or digitally-enabled products in their respondents’ portfolios has accelerated by seven years. In addition, the survey found that companies were acting on digitization 20 to 25 times faster than expected.

It goes without saying that the benefits of digital are almost endless – increased agility, improved reliability, new revenue streams, improved customer experiences, and the ability to make more informed decisions – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. However, digital transformation also brings vulnerabilities and risks, which can make the stakes extremely high. Vulnerabilities and risks can be reduced to three important causes: the exponential growth of data, partnerships and ecosystems, and the ever-increasing number of online users.

From a data perspective, over 1.7MB of data is generated per person per second, and 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. A question to ask… do you trust data integrity? Partnerships and ecosystems are expected to unlock $ 100,000 billion in business value over the next 10 years, but can you trust your partner’s ecosystems? Finally, more than 50% of the world’s population is online. Is it even possible to trust all of their identities? Unlocking the answers to these questions lies in digital trust. What does trust mean in the digital world and for your business?

What does digital trust mean?

Digital trust is a concept that enables users to conduct business transactions in a safe, secure, ethical and reliable manner. While this is a key enabler, not all businesses understand or realize the importance of digital trust, leaving them at a strategic disadvantage.

Confidence in the physical world is much easier to understand. This is when you are sure that your expectations will be met by another person. In other words, you implicitly trust that person with sensitive information and there is a mutual understanding that the trust you have placed in them will be sure. However, what does trust mean in the digital world?

The blurring lines between the physical and digital worlds, what were previously disparate components – people, processes and products – now converge to work in tandem. Trust, whether physical or digital, must be seen as a tangible element that spans both worlds and must work in unison. However, the digital business depends on agile (and sometimes transient) digital interactions. When you come across digital scenarios, you need to make sure that your organization can deliver high quality and secure digital interactions. Indeed, the digital world continues to open a constant stream of new opportunities, while introducing the need to find answers to emerging questions.

A question to ask … is your business embracing and promoting digital trust? Today, digital trust is considered the cornerstone of success. From improving branding and adopting new technologies to bringing in investments, digital trust is quickly becoming a key competitive differentiator. However, building a trusted digital organization is no easy task. It is certainly not a one-off process, but rather a continuous evolution which requires constant vigilance. And this is where a Chief Trust Officer (CTrO) is essential to the financial health of your business.

Why digital trust is becoming essential

Seen as the centerpiece of success in our ever-growing digital world, digital trust is rapidly moving from a ‘good to have’ to a necessity. If you have already integrated a CtrO, consider your organization as a leader in today’s digital economy. If you’re in doubt or taking a wait-and-see approach, here are five reasons your business needs a CtrO.

1. Digital trust initiatives become mandatory

As a growing number of organizations begin to understand the importance of digital trust, the focus of Chief Experience Officers on trust will become a priority. An IDC survey has shown that over the next five years, digital trust programs will become the most important item on business leaders‘ agendas, making trust programs a standard in the economy. digital. IDC predicts that two-thirds of the G2000 boards will demand a formal trust initiative that executes a roadmap to increase a company’s security, privacy, protections, and ethical execution. Additionally, IDC believes that 50% of the G2000 will appoint a CtrO to coordinate trust between business functions such as security, finance, human resources, sales, production, and law.

2. Digital trust is changing

Today, there are different descriptions of digital trust, with different scopes and levels of coverage. At first, it only encompassed security and privacy, with limited relevance to data breaches and content misuse. It has now evolved to include intangibles like transparency, credibility, reputation, etc., as well as identity, risk mitigation, predictability, and data integrity. What’s important to note is that the current fluidity of digital trust makes accountability and ownership difficult, which is why the role of CtrO becomes invaluable.

3. Digital trust becomes a strategic differentiator

As consumers become more informed and aware of digital trust, they use this knowledge to make purchasing decisions based on the company’s ability to demonstrate a trustworthy ecosystem. In order to attract customers and retain them, it will become increasingly important for them to clearly display digital trust throughout the company. When this does not happen, customers will use their purchasing power to show their dissatisfaction and force change.

4. Digital trust becomes more relevant for businesses

As stated directly above, B2C digital trust is becoming increasingly important for businesses to stay relevant. However, it is also becoming a growing need outside of B2C businesses and is making its way into businesses – both B2B and B2G (business to government). The shift to these sectors is a direct result of the expanded scope of digital trust which includes areas such as identity, risk mitigation, predictability and data integrity.

5. Digital trust is gaining ground on boards of directors

With the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) expected to triple from 8.74 billion in 2020 to over 25.4 billion IoT devices in 2030, and the global market for 5G services is expected to grow at a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46.2% between 2021 and 2028, the digital world will be made up of countless devices and use cases. The acceleration of digital services has made digital trust a term previously used primarily by visionaries for a topic that business leaders associate with their bottom line.

As businesses begin to realize the importance of digital trust and address various elements of it, it has yet to become mainstream and does not yet have a manager responsible for all things digital. With the continuing evolution of digital trust and its many aspects, your Chief Information Officer (CISO) would only be responsible for one component of digital trust, leaving the rest unattended. Some organizations are getting ready to appoint an Identity Officer and Privacy Officer to work alongside the CISO, but since their responsibilities are on the digital trust ladder, the most convenient and cost-effective solution consists of integrating a CTrO.

Vinod Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, Sub-ex

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