Purpose Over Profit?
Alexsis Wintour says digital ethics is giving the competition the edge as organisations continue to prioritise purpose over profit for growth
Gartner has named Digital Ethics in the top ten strategic technology trends for 2019 and there is now a rush to commission committees, checklists and community ambassadors...but is this where organisations should start in setting out their stall?
In the effort to support thinking, many bodies have started to release guidelines around Artificial Intelligence specifically. There are now, at last count, over 86 of them relevant to the UK from organisations such as IEEE, the EU, the UK ICO, and other countries are also working on them. China published theirs in May and in turn called for international co-operation to collaborate on some suitable standards. So, whilst the freedom to choose is a great thing, too much adds complexity and invokes confusion.
Most of the digital ethics standards will also interface with data management and control and this in turn starts to touch wider governance issues around information management and crucial functions such as risk and compliance and ultimately organisational decision making. Throw a bit of blockchain into the mix and the automation of trust, the indelible nature of the technology, and the opportunity for increased privacy and it's not surprising that Executive Boards and senior decision makers are left bemused.
We're working collaboratively with our clients to support their digital and data ethics frameworks development. This gives them a competitive edge as there is increasing evidence that better morals make more money - decrying the "all this philosophy is good for a deep discussion but we have businesses to run" school of thought.
Gartner predicts that businesses ignoring this trend and not investing will pay out, and heavily, in the long run. Even in the present this is a problem, think Facebook, Enron, Cambridge Analytics - need we say more?
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