The importance of trust in the digital age

Awareness of the term digital trust has gained greater prominence in the public's minds over the past decade but accelerated further due to the recent global pandemic. Our everyday life is shaped and affected by a broad range of digitally-driven services and experiences, no matter what country we live in. Whether it is to access public transport, purchase food and drinks, or engage with banks, government, healthcare, and other similar services. Typically, access to digital experiences is driven by society's ubiquitous use of smartphones and other devices like laptops and tablets, whether through mobile apps, websites, or messaging services. In every country, this ubiquity spans a range of ages, technical fluency, and attitudes across the public.

So, what is digital trust, and how does it impact businesses? Digital trust best describes the public's confidence in an organisation's ability to protect data specifically about them and related to them. Digital trust is no different from other forms of societal trust models where it is hard to gain but easy to lose but can lead to digital distrust. Especially in an age where data breaches of commonly used digital services perpetrated by hackers occur all too frequently because a person's digital identity, and elements of it, is a valuable commodity on the dark web to support a range of fraud and identity crimes.


The digital-trust challenges faced by organizations

Organisations are under ever more pressure to deliver a rich and diverse range of digital customer experiences to meet a pressing customer or industry demand, often in very short timeframes. This can often lead to unintentional situations where addressing data privacy and cyber-security becomes an afterthought to the urgency to deliver. For many companies, this situation has been further exacerbated by the pandemic, which compressed years of technology transformation and accelerated new digital experiences and uses of data. As new technologies and new ways to use existing technologies occur, the cyber-security threat landscape for an organisation continues to get even more complicated.

As personal data protection has become recognised as a fundamental human right across the world's governments. It further emphasises the importance of building and retaining trust through digital services for interactions with the public and other companies. The frequency and impact of data breaches have also led to digital distrust because of cyber-security hacks, inappropriate or illegal surveillance, misuse of personal data, the spread of fake news and misinformation, algorithmic bias, and a lack of digital transparency. Any of which can impact an organisation through reputational damage, customer attrition, and industry/regulatory fines.


The importance of identifying a technology partner

The expectations on organisations now are that they must champion digital privacy, be honest and reliable, uphold transparency, and be dependable in how they interact with the public by maintaining confidentiality, traceability, and data integrity. However, the weight of this challenge in building and maintaining digital trust does not need to, or should, be done alone. Finding the right technology partner to support your digital trust journey is essential whether an organisation is small, medium, or large. Cloud-based technology services have democratised organisations' access to sophisticated capabilities for performing, integrating, and automating how companies communicate with each other and to members of the public. Therefore, organisations need to find a trusted partner to provide delivery expertise and ongoing service management to meet the ever-changing demands of the digital trust age.

With Retarus, PAC had the opportunity to host an interview-style webinar with Novid20 to discuss their fascinating real-life example of how they needed to rapidly deploy a digital COVID testing infrastructure service to manage health data and interactions between testing labs and the public that had digital trust built into its foundation when engaging with the public and healthcare organisations.

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