ISACA: Ensuring Digital Trust Key to Digital Transformation Success

Digital trust must be a top priority for the benefits of digital transformation programs to be fully realized.

ISACA’s State of Digital Trust 2022 survey report shows that there are significant gaps between what enterprises are doing now and what they should do to establish leadership and earn customer trust in the future digital ecosystem.

Globally, businesses recognize that digital trust is important (98%) and is relevant to their jobs (63%); however, only 12% of organizations said that they have staff dedicated to the role of digital trust.

In addition, more than four out of five respondents (98% of a total 2755 business surveyed) said that digital trust will be even more important in five years’ time.

Worryingly, this leaves businesses vulnerable to the risks associated with a lack of digital trust which ISACA noted to include devastating reputational, regulatory and financial repercussions. Only 66% said their organization currently prioritizes digital trust at a sufficient level.  

Chris Dimitriadis, chief global strategy officer at ISACA, said, “Digital trust is 100% a very important vulnerability as digital transformation accelerates. Within the next five years the problem will become a critical one.”

He emphasized that success in digital transformation relies heavily on getting digital trust right and must involve breaking down silos in professional domains.

Some industries, like the financial sector, have heavily invested in domains like cybersecurity, privacy and assurance making them more mature in terms of risk and security, however, they are at the same time experiencing an acceleration in the adoption of new technologies which comes with the need for digital trust in order to be successful.

“This adoption of technology introduces new threats. More mature sectors [like finance] have the opportunity to thrive in digital transformation but are more vulnerable because of the need for digital trust,” Dimitriadis noted.

All inclusive

Digital trust must incorporate those beyond the cybersecurity group and implementing digital trust strategies into an organization should be approached in a systemic way across both people and organizations.

Matt Chiodi, chief trust officer at Cerby and a member of ISACA’s Digital Trust Advisory Council, said, “Trust must be earned, which means that in everything an organization does, the end goal must be answering the question, ‘What can we do today to better earn the trust of our customers?’”

Two of the biggest challenges in achieving digital trust, according to ISACA’s report, was lack of skills and training (53%) and a lack of budget (41%).

The top three roles for strengthening digital trust are IT strategy/governance (84%), security (80%) and information technology (74%).

ISACA noted that many organizations are still in early stages of digital transformation, so this is an excellent opportunity for professionals to step up, gain knowledge and lead a multi-disciplinary team.

Regarding budgetary concerns, Dimitriadis said it all links to the skills of the professionals in the organizations. If all have awareness and understanding of digital trust, it should be included in all projects from the beginning.

Setting aside money to integrate digital trust should not be seen as a single cost but rather embedded into the operations of the organization as a whole.

In terms of next steps for organizations, ISACA recommended they understand what they want to accomplish; outline the desired state and begin developing a roadmap; and focus on the mindset of continuous improvement.

Concluding, ISACA recognized that establishing a strong digital trust ecosystem is a continual evolution in a team environment; it does not stop when a project is completed. Organizations need to understand why they need to change and then identify what needs to change and how they plan to make the change.

To help enterprises grow their digital trust capabilities, ISACA is releasing the Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework (DTEF) in the fourth quarter of 2022. DTEF is a business framework designed for the entire enterprise and focuses on providing critical factors for organizational success by fostering trusted, meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships, interactions and transactions.

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