Digital transformation can serve all, but not in its current form. Individuals and wider society are looking to business to set a precedent for what it means to be a responsible, sustainable business, in a world transformed by digital. To remain competitive, companies must address these consequences head on, engendering trust across all stakeholder groups.
Impact is a choice
While companies are employing digital technologies to create new revenue streams and improve efficiency, they often fail to think through the unintended consequences of such technologies—the flip side. These consequences are becoming increasingly clear, from cyber-attacks to environmental concerns. But, when company leaders make a conscious choice to proactively address their digital impact, they can reap both progress and positive consumer/citizen reaction.
A company’s competitiveness is now heavily linked to how well it addresses its digital flip side. But, a growing number of businesses recognize current consumer and citizen sentiment is less than a ringing endorsement of their progress. Successful leaders will balance transparency, privacy and intellectual property to leverage trust as a competitive advantage. It means having a plan in place to mitigate negative consequences.
First steps to faultless flip side
To reap the full value from digital responsibility, company leaders need to appropriately guide action and investment. Where do they start?
- Build trust with consumers
- Look out for your workforce
- Foster partnerships for the common good
- Improve your footprint
Those that anticipate and address the flip side early have the potential to earn trust across stakeholder groups, translating that trust into responsible profits and growth for the digital age.