Digital trust can make or break an organization
With increased data breaches, errors, ransomware and hacks, digital trust can be the difference between retaining reputations and customer loyalty after a major incident and suffering serious, time-consuming, and expensive losses, according to ISACA.
From digital trust to business success
According to ISACA’s report, 85% respondents said that digital trust is extremely or very important to digital transformation. Organizations with high levels of digital trust can gain tangible benefits and positive business results. The top benefits reported are:
- Positive reputation (64%)
- Stronger customer loyalty (62%)
- More reliable data on which to make decisions (56%)
- Fewer privacy breaches (55%)
- Fewer cybersecurity incidents (54%)
- Ability to innovate faster because of the confidence in their technology and systems (51%)
- Higher revenue (36%)
Even with these stated benefits and with 90% agreeing that demonstrating a commitment to digital trust will ultimately make organizations more successful, only 24% have a dedicated digital trust staff role and only 36% say their board of directors has prioritized digital trust.
82% of respondents say measuring the maturity of digital trust practices is extremely or very important, yet 31% do not measure the maturity of digital trust at all.
Measurement is a significant differentiator and leadership is driving this, 34% say they do not currently but will likely have a Chief Trust Officer, or Director of Digital Trust, in the next five years. 72% are completely or very confident in the digital trust worthiness of their organization, but this jumps to 89% among those that measure digital trust maturity.
The future of business
Security, risk, data integrity, privacy, governance, quality and assurance are listed among the many key components of digital trust. 34% are planning to increase budgets for digital trust activities, indicating that digital trust can be implemented as an umbrella approach that encourages existing individual areas to work as a cohesive whole.
“As organizations move to a digital-first business model, trust is the essential component that must be earned before, during, and after every interaction,” said Tracey Dedrick, Interim CEO of ISACA.
“Digital trust is a holistic, organized approach and offers a new and integrated way for organizations to look at what they are already doing. Digital trust is an umbrella that ensures existing functions are operating in sync and in the most optimal manner to ensure others have trust in the organization. A digital trust framework that is aligned with enterprise goals is essential and can contribute to impactful positive outcomes,” concluded Dedrick.
While significant additional budget or headcount may not need to be allocated to the digital trust, a holistic, organized approach and a digital trust framework that is aligned with enterprise goals is essential and can contribute to impactful positive outcomes.
“It is critical that boards and the C-suite be closely involved in ensuring digital trust is positioned as a top-tier strategic benefit,” said Dedrick.
Aligning digital trust and enterprise goals
The top obstacles to attaining high levels of digital trust are lack of skills/training (49%), lack of alignment of digital trust and enterprise goals (47%), lack of technological resources (45%), lack of leadership buy-in (42%), insufficient processes and/or governance practices (39%) and digital trust not being treated as a priority (37%).
On a positive note, an improvement in the “lack of skills and training” over the previous year’s survey indicates a gradually increased understanding of the value of digital trust. In 2023, 45% offer digital trust training to staff (43% in 2022) and 72% say digital trust is extremely or very relevant to their job (66% in 2022). Though it is trending in a good direction, there is a need for acceleration.
Creating a better, safer digital world
The respondents noted that either the board of directors or senior leadership has ultimate responsibility for their organization. Despite this, only 36% say the board of directors has prioritized digital trust.
“With most businesses now operating via digital platforms, instilling and safeguarding digital trust is becoming critical. Digital trust relies on organizations prioritizing quality, availability, security and privacy, ethics and integrity, transparency and honesty, and resiliency—not only creating value for their business, but doing the right thing and benefiting their customers,” said R V Raghu, ISACA Ambassador in India, past ISACA board director, and director, Versatilist Consulting India Pvt Ltd. “Digital trust is about creating a better, safer digital world for everyone.”
Digital trust guidance will have a significant impact as only 34% currently use a framework for their digital trust practices while 85% believe it is extremely or very important to have a digital trust framework.