Organisations Must Prioritize Digital Trust to Achieve their Goals

As organizations pursue digital transformation, there is an urgent need to prioritize digital trust to achieve their goals and prepare for future opportunities, legislation, and regulatory compliance. Business leaders can better understand how to address their organizations’ gaps with ISACA’s State of Digital Trust 2024 report, which reveals new data and insights around the areas of familiarity, priority, confidence, maturity, obstacles, and responsibility related to digital trust from more than 5,800 global digital trust professionals, including 394 from India.

Despite Perceived Importance, Prioritization Fails to Keep Up

Among India-based respondents, the report finds that 88 percent agree that digital trust is important to digital transformation and 92 percent say digital trust will grow in importance over the next five years, but only 27percent are planning to increase budget for digital trust.

Only 34 percent say increased revenue is a current benefit of digital trust, which may indicate that organizations are missing opportunities to improve revenues by prioritizing digital trust practices. The report identifies other top benefits of high levels of digital trust, including:

  • Positive reputation (73 percent)
  • Stronger customer loyalty (68 percent)
  • More reliable data for decision-making (64 percent)
  • Fewer cybersecurity incidents (64 percent)

Few Measuring Digital Trust Maturity

Understanding and measuring trust is paramount to gaining actionable insights into what drives customer and stakeholder actions. In fact, 95percent of India-based survey respondents consider it extremely/very important to organizations today and 85 percent feel it is extremely/very important to measure the maturity of their organization’s digital trust practices.

Still, in total, only 36 percent of Indian respondents say their organization measures digital trust maturity. One expected growth area is independent third-party digital trust assessments, which contribute to building customer loyalty from a reliable and transparent evaluation. According to the survey, 86 percent believe it is extremely/very important for organizations to be independently graded on digital trust practices and that the results should be available publicly.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents in India agree that organizations that demonstrate their commitment to digital trust—for example, with a high score rating from an independent third-party assessment—would ultimately be more successful.

When looking at confidence levels, 71 percent of respondents are confident in the digital trustworthiness of their organization.

Facing Obstacles

To achieve high confidence and strong maturity in digital trustworthiness, organizations often have to overcome obstacles that may limit or prevent them from pursuing digital trust. The State of Digital Trust 2024 survey finds that lack of staff skills/training is the biggest obstacle for India-based respondents at 53 percent and is the same across all geographic regions and industry sectors. Additional top obstacles include:

  • Lack of leadership buy-in (41percent)
  • Lack of alignment of digital trust and enterprise goals (43percent)
  • Lack of budget (41 percent)
  • Lack of technological resources (40 percent)
  • Insufficient processes and/or governance practices (39 percent)
  • Digital trust not a priority (35 percent)

“When executive leaders actively advocate for digital trust, it gains stronger buy-in, which then cascades into priority, alignment, budgets, training, and technical resources, overcoming many of the key challenges that can hold them back in realizing strong levels of digital trustworthiness,” said Karen Heslop, VP Content Development at ISACA.

Leveraging Tools and Frameworks to Advance Trust

According to the survey, 26 percent of Indian respondents’ organizations currently used a framework for their digital trust practices, but 77 percent believed it was extremely/very important for an organization to have a digital trust framework. ISACA recently launched its Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework (DTEF), a comprehensive digital trust resource with indicators and controls that can be used and customized for the needs of all organizations. The DTEF and its associated implementation guide provide a clear understanding of how organizations can attain the level of digital trust that fits their business models, strategies, and goals.

The top three benefits of using a framework include:

1. Saving time and effort

2. Enabling benchmarking with other organizations in a cost-efficient way

3. Providing added credibility and third-party validation in support of budget and staff requests

“With an ever-expanding digital footprint, enterprises should take heed from the survey and prioritize enterprise-wide trust initiatives and a framework-based trust initiative to survive and thrive in a AI driven digital first world,” says RV Raghu, Director at Versatilist Consulting India Pvt Ltd, and ISACA India Ambassador.

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