I was talking to someone from the Financial Conduct Authority at an event this week and we got onto the topic of trust. He said he was reading a book which proposed that trust like energy is neither created nor destroyed - but transferred. 

We used to build trust in institutions based on the fact that they are regulated and typically have a long history. But, increasingly, we are building trust through individuals or peer groups with the use of apps and social media. I also came across this article by McKinsey on how digital reinventors are pulling away from the pack. The interesting point here is that traditional incumbents are leveraging their historic trust to transform their businesses, and digital natives have to leverage a very different model to build and share this trust. 

The other fact that came out of the report is that, while there are clear revenue advantages of digitisation, most companies have a very tentative plan in place. This also reflected in our Risk:Value report. It goes beyond cloud adoption into the very heart of the business – again we come back to trust. They tend to invest only in the most proven digital technologies (big data, mobile, and traditional web technologies, for example). 

Another area of interest is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. The client experience is paramount in today’s business model, as this builds brand and therefore trust quickly - and AI clearly is providing benefits. 

Associated with this is clearly the need for a different cybersecurity model. A resilient business in the digital age requires an embedded cybersecurity architecture. One that allows the business to be agile and leverage the advantages of the digital revolution but is based on the traditional values of information security – confidentiality, integrity and availability. All of these traditional values build trust in the digital age, whether it is transferred trust from a peer group or based on historical institutions. Trust is created over time but is it destroyed or transferred to a competitor. Businesses today have to embrace digitisation but build this on core cybersecurity values.