In Digital We Trust

Naresh Manchanda,CEO,Risk, Technology and Digitalisation
Naresh Manchanda,CEO,Risk, Technology and Digitalisation
Madan Mohan, DirectorTechnology, Risk Advisory
Madan Mohan, DirectorTechnology, Risk Advisory

MBG Corporate Services on doing business in the digital era



Published: Fri 29 Jul 2022, 9:00 AM

“Trust dies but mistrust blossoms.” —Sophocles

This 2,500 year-old quote from ancient Greece is apt for the topic at many levels. For one, the idea of trust in business goes back to the very beginning of commerce. For another, and most relevant, trust has assumed even greater importance for businesses in our digital age.

At MBG Corporate Services where cybersecurity and data protection are a cornerstone of our technology advisory practice, our advice to our clients across verticals and practices is to place digital trust both as a key strategic focus area and a non-negotiable strategic goodwill asset. It is much more than a technology advisory matter alone.

WHAT IS ‘DIGITAL TRUST’?

‘Digital trust’ is as simple as trust contextualised for today’s world. But in that simplicity lies its power. For the digital age, as mentioned above, puts trust front and centre of business. Or rather, given that trust has always had that place in business, the digital age ensures that not putting it front and centre is not an option for companies anymore.

This is because while the slightest negligence or laxity on the part of a business could inadvertently expose their customers to something as severely serious as theft and fraud or even something as relatively less serious as a bad user experience, affecting their confidence in buying from it , these customers are more empowered than ever to dent its reputation by highlighting it, sometimes even unfairly. And like the proverbial vase, trust and business reputation once broken are not easily fixed without the crack showing.

However, digital trust goes beyond security, data protection, and even consumer confidence. These are all subsets of digital trust, i.e. they are necessary, but not sufficient. What digital trust also encompasses are elements such as the company’s attitudes to corporate integrity, ethics, morality, product quality and pricing, social good, and so on; something that can be broadly summed up under a ‘doing the right thing’ box. More formally, digital trust is very much about effective corporate governance.

The overall digital trust earned and enjoyed (or lost) is the sum total of the company’s interactions, transactions and relationships with its consumer base viewed from that lens. It is thus cumulative by nature and correlates, all else being equal, with the frequency of those interactions, transactions and relationships. In other words, the more the level of digital trust built, the more there is to lose if it is not protected. Remember, digital trust is greater than the sum of its constituent elements!

DIGITAL TRUST IS A CULTURE – OR SHOULD BE

What follows from the above is that businesses must have active on-the-ground strategies to build, maintain and defend digital trust. Two important aspects for this, among others, are an organisation’s risk management and assurance practices, and, as ever, its people.

The ‘practices’ part relates to the bare essentials of digital trust, i.e. adequate safety and data protection, as well as user experience and ‘product quality’. Effective Risk Management helps control such vulnerabilities — their number, size and severity. Hand in hand, assurance works in advance to avoid or fix these issues before they arise in the first place.

Finally, that all important element — people. There are two aspects of this. First, and more obviously, a company’s employees are who conduct these practices and it is absolutely essential that they are aware and trained on both the idea of digital trust and in implementing best practices to ensure it. But second, and as important in today’s world, the organisation must always keep in mind that employees too are its ‘customers’ as well as community members and citizens. They must treat them fairly and with due respect. There have been several instances of reputational damage caused by employees going public with legitimate complaints. So, the buck starts and stops at the top.

BUILDING YOUR DIGITAL TRUST ASSET WITH MBG CORPORATE SERVICES

Our technology risk advisory works on maximising digital trust for our clients’ business across all of the services it offers. And as a highly reputed business consultancy, our technology and risk advisory is backed up with high quality experts from our other verticals including audit and assurance, risk, legal, tax, M&A, and strategy, all of them being aspects this topic encompasses. We ensure that your business not only avoids a digital trust deficit but also actually works actively towards a trust surplus.

Contact us for more:

Email: uae@mbgcorp.com

Call: +971-52-6406240


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