At the beginning of each financial year, we set out our Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision (FT&SV): a collection of ideas, principles and foresight that guides our actions for the next twelve months and beyond.
We want to help our customers deal with the questions of today, not yesterday. This is why our Vision is so important: it empowers us to understand the landscape as it stands currently, how it is evolving, which in turn provides an impetus for us to move forward.
Last year our Vision focused on co-creation. While this theme will still be hugely relevant for the coming year, we want to build on it, and take it further.
In 2019, we’re focusing on something that’s fundamental to co-creation – and all of business, relationships and arguably human life.
This year, our vision revolves around trust. In this blog post, I’m going to explain why.
If you’re wondering why trust is the theme for this year’s Vision, there’s a short answer: because it’s vital – and as we move into the digital era the importance of trust is being overlooked.
The changing nature of the world today has shaken our idea of trust. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing promise to be extraordinarily powerful, but we can’t be sure whether they will shape our future for good or bad.
On top of this, there are questions surrounding cybersecurity and privacy in the age of data. How can we ensure that data is collected lawfully and consensually, and how can we prevent data from being used in the wrong way?
And this technology is being developed against a background of political uncertainty, growing inequality, subjective truth, and an ever more complex world.
Businesses and people are realizing the importance of ecosystems. As it becomes clear that no-one can do it alone, we’ll have to design new relationships and new ways of working with partners – which will require unprecedented levels of trust.
At the same time, technology will play more of a role in providing trust, from tools like Blockchain to digital identities. We will have to adapt and transform.
Yet trust is so crucial to every aspect of business – and in the world of tomorrow, it will be even more so. We believe that to develop deeper and more genuine relationships with customers and partners, and to move closer to realizing our human centric vision, building and driving trust is key.
And this means more than just persuading the market to have faith in you. We’re committed to driving trust at all levels, from delivering new business models through to leading and inspiring ethical outcomes for wider society.
In this belief, we’re not alone. We recently commissioned a survey of 900 global business leaders (the full report is soon to be published), 74% of whom agreed that it’s important for business goals and social goals to be aligned.
For businesses to play a role in the society of the future, they will need to establish relationships of trust with employees, customers, and other organizations. This is why trust is central to Fujitsu’s 2019 Technology and Service Vision.
The changing face of trust
Technology is causing us to rethink trust. Here’s a good example. At Fujitsu, we’ve recently developed AI capable of judging scores for gymnastics competitions. When gymnasts compete, they are evaluated on execution and artistry.
Would you trust a technology to make all of the judging decision?
A machine is not able to respond to an expressive and emotional piece of performance – so the artistic score really can’t be assessed by AI.
On the other hand, humans struggle to make objective assessments of distances and speeds. We lack consistent precision and our judgments are subjective. Yet AI is much better at assessing the technical movements of the gymnast.
We need to learn to trust the technology, but even more, we need to learn to trust the relationship between human and technology.
Of course, trust also means different things to different sectors. In the public sector, for instance, the focus revolves around inspiring citizen trust.
But for manufacturers, the biggest trust consideration is the supply chain.
Retailers, meanwhile, would say that their priority is gaining the trust of the consumer – and then keeping it.
Trust is a nebulous and multi-faceted idea, and it’s vital we understand the role it plays, are aware of how it is changing, and are able to build and leverage it.
The foundation for the future
At Fujitsu, human-centric innovation is at the heart of all we do.
Naturally, this leads us to take an interest in trust. It’s the thing that links our innovation back to people. Trust is what connects customers to businesses, employees to businesses, businesses to governments, and citizens to governments.
Without it, we won’t be able to achieve our vision of the future: a world that is sustainable and inclusive – and ultimately, trustworthy.