Navigating technology disruption is now a business norm, propelling organizations to both experiment with and deploy advanced digital products and services that increasingly collect, leverage and ultimately create value from abundant amounts of data. The continuous nature of technology development, and the ability to drive customer engagement and gain performance enhancements through digital transformation, generates significant excitement at a board level — both as an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage, as well as being a catalyst for disruption. The ability to achieve agility in what is now a continuous process of transformation and innovation is fast defining success for organizations, and maintaining trust in the age of the customer is becoming a differentiator for those able to act and demonstrate an understanding of their consumer’s concerns.
Consumers are a key driver in the digital transformation agenda, as digital engagement evolves and expectations rise. Successful organizations must anticipate and respond to commercial opportunities arising from consumers who increasingly demand trusted and digitally enabled experiences. Fully understanding individual consumer demands is critical to business success, and this requires the collection of a significant amount of data. To fully harness the benefits from technology, companies must better position themselves to seize opportunities arising from consumer trust agendas — agendas which have gained priority against a backdrop of new cyber threats to both organizations and the consumers who use their products.
In this new survey, our aim was to assess whether there has been a shift in consumer expectations regarding digital trust and whether organizations are placing the consumer’s security front and centre of their digital product offerings. We also explore what it takes for consumers to stay with a brand when things go wrong — and whether organizations genuinely place consumer interests first during times of crises.
Understanding the gap in perceptions of cyber security between consumers and the organizations that serve them is a key theme of this report. We believe that solving this gap in perceptions generates consumer trust and confidence propels business growth.
The rise of the concerned digital consumer
As technology innovation progresses, consumers are revising upward their expectations on how organizations deliver digital products and services, and expect security as integral to their digital experience. Based on our research, it is clear that many consumers actively embrace new, personalized and user-friendly technology. However, concerns around data security are also increasing and, in many cases, consumers are uncomfortable with the way that businesses address these concerns.
Boards at a crossroads
Digital transformation is now a way of life for all organizations, but many boards appear to actively engage with only part of the transformation agenda. Most boards are significantly more comfortable with the upsides of transformation — incorporating new technology and data strategies for growth — while overlooking the potential risks associated with these.
This is reflected in our responses from security leadership. More than a third of security executives considered their organization’s information-security budget inadequate. Worryingly, some security executive respondents stated that their company views information security primarily as a compliance and risk management issue, with 12 percent briefing the board on only an annual basis or less.
We believe that when cybersecurity is left out of the business value chain, a trust ecosystem is not delivered, a significant commercial opportunity is missed, and the risk for all increases. Boards should balance their responsibilities between the growth agenda with the customer trust agenda.