3 Steps to Enabling Accountability in a Digital Ecosystem Background Image

3 Steps to Enabling Accountability in a Digital Ecosystem

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Published Tue February 12, 2019, 12:00 AM EST

Technology has helped our world achieve convenience and connectivity. However, these innovations have also cultivated a lack of another C-word: confidence.

As helpful as the slew of tech tools have been, past breakdowns and future prospects leave customers feeling uneasy about what’s to come. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, user trust in technology has declined in 16 of the 28 countries surveyed. More troubling that is that 64 percent of respondents don’t believe tech contributes to the greater good of society.

So what does that mean for businesses trying to leverage these resources to optimize the customer experience? Right now, they’re having to play from behind because customers don’t trust what a business’s tech resources will do with their data, products, and services.

Buyers believe that businesses are only out to improve their bottom lines. While technology can help improve profit, blockchain and other tools can also be a conduit for clarity and accountability and can help leaders focus on positive impact as well.

Trust: A Scarce Resource

Trust issues in business aren’t unique to technology. Considering that only 32 percent of Americans have confidence in the media and that Millennials typically mistrust all types of traditional institutions, tech isn’t the only industry subject to skepticism.

Moreover, when companies lack transparency with their customers, the consequences are drastic. The 2018 Accenture Strategy Competitive Agility Index shows that 54 percent of companies saw a decline in trust in the previous two and a half years, directly impacting their revenue streams.

But the financial pitfalls pale in comparison to their ethical implications. Take, for example, the mistrust against our food supply chain. Recent outbreaks of salmonella and contaminated romaine lettuce have cost industries trust and money. Emerging technologies such as AI, Robotic Process Automation, and blockchain will solve many of the problems but not all.

With blockchain, in particular, that veil of doubt about your products can be lifted. Businesses can track a product at every step, ensuring its quality whenever the potential customer interacts with it. By not embracing transparent tech options, companies risk alienating customers, losing their trust, and putting a harmful product into the world.

Let Tech Be Your Eyes

The bottom line is the endgame for virtually every business. But technology can help companies become conscientious of product integrity and customer trust, each of which can lead to bumps in profit. Here’s where to start:

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